Dechen Dolkar

The Government of India (GoI) has exempted Bhutan from the ban on the export of non-basmati white rice on special consideration.

The Indian media reported that India will supply 79,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice to Bhutan under humanitarian operations, making an exemption for key diplomatic partners.

India will also supply 14,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice to Mauritius.

The decision was taken after India received a request from both nations to exempt the export prohibition on non-basmati rice.

The government formally wrote to the GoI in the first week of August conveying the request.

The government has requested approval to import 77,000 metric tonnes (MT) of non-basmati rice per year.

The government is awaiting notification from GoI on approval of the import of non-basmati rice soon.

India banned the export of non-basmati white rice on July 20 this year to ensure adequate availability and address the rising prices in the domestic market.

India exports rice to around 125 countries and is the world’s largest rice exporter.

Bhutanese mostly consume SK Gold, Raj Bhog Kumar, Dubar, and Kuam Bhog rice. 

The Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCBL) also imports non-basmati rice, fortified rice, to supply to around 490 schools and to some of the agencies in the country. 

An official from FCBL said that the Corporation supply rice to these agencies from the general reserve and have enough stock.