Rice import from India through DTRE scheme to lower paddy rate

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LAHORE - Opposing the idea of Duty Tax Remission for Exports (DTRE) scheme for rice imports from India being advocated by Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), the Basmati Growers Association President Hamid Malhi has said that it is not acceptable to all growers of rice in the country.

He said that this is a planned strategy to lower domestic prices of paddy to farmers and to discourage rice trade which has already purchased paddy from the farmers. The rice exporters are bound to play foul with the import of subsidised rice from India to reduce their reliance on domestic rice production. Growers will oppose and obstruct any such attempt by REAP. The increase of rice exports to $3 billion is a farce as it does not account for the import costs from India.

The growers advise REAP to shift to some other country and sell Indian rice by directly importing from India. Rice farmers are already under stress due to low paddy prices and ever increasing costs of inputs, over the last few years and would be further effected by the low rice price regime being planned by REAP.

While REAP supports the farmers stance of not allowing subsidised imports from India it also wants to import cheap subsidised rice from India to reduce farmers returns by depressing the domestic market.

This double-edged sword will not be allowed to operate and ruin future prospects of increase in rice production, self sufficiency and surpluses for exports in the country.

Courtesy: The Nation

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