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Iran may resume rice imports this year: Govt

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Iran, which has suspended rice imports, may resume the inbound shipments of the commodity this year, Parliament was informed today.

Resumption of imports would help India to export basmati rice to Iran, which is a major destination for India for the aromatic rice.

"Due to excess rice stocks available in Iran, Iranian authorities temporarily suspended further imports of rice from rest of the world from October 2014.

"This ban is not country specific. Iran may resume imports of rice this year depending upon domestic production and demand," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

In 2013-14, India exported basmati rice worth USD 1.83 billion to Iran. It stood at USD 1 billion during April-February 2015.

Iran mainly imports from Pakistan, Portugal, China, UAE, Latin America, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Oman and India.

In a separate reply, the Minister said that government has provided Rs 1,625 crore in the Budget for 2015-16 under foreign trade and export promotion.

"The guidelines of interest subvention scheme are yet to be approved by the competent authority," she said.

Under the scheme, government provides loans to exporters at subsidised rates.

First Published: Wed, May 13 2015. 15:22 IST