India imposes export tax on basmati rice
New Delhi, April 29, 2008
India slapped export taxes on basmati rice and other products as the government unveiled a series of moves to tackle inflation fuelled by the rise in food prices.
Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram put various measures before parliament, including the export taxes on basmati rice and steel products and a duty cut on imports related to steel production.
Middle East is a major market for Indian basmati rice. India has already banned non-basmati rice exports.
India's move comes just as UN agencies and the World Bank called on nations not to restrict food exports to secure home supplies. The Asian Development Bank has also said banning exports is no different from hoarding at a national level.
Fighting inflation has become a top priority for India's government as it heads towards an election due by May 2009. - Reuters