Grain Exporters Launch Association

New Delhi, Nov 13: | Updated: Nov 14 2003, 05:30am hrs
Grain exporters have joined hands to form an association of their own and have pledged to export 6 million tonne in the current year valued at $ 900 million, marking an increase of 30 per cent over last year.

They have demanded the government to formulate a consistent policy on export for establishing India as a credible supplier in world market. Further they have demanded to be allowed to procure directly from the regulated markets (mandis) against the government declared minimum support prices (MSPs) for exports and render direct assistance like inland transport subsidy and ocean freight subsidy as in the case of facilitating sugar exports.

Various export houses have together announced the formation of All India Grain Exporters Association (AIGEA) in the Capital on Thursday. Subsequently the AIGEA chairman and managing director of Sara International, DP Singh said that exporters had exported grains amounting to 3 million tonne to Gulf countries, West Africa and South East Asia. The AIGEA represents exporters of wheat, coarse grains, rice, pulses and lentils and sugar.

He said over the last three years, India had exported over 22 million tonne of grains. The country has emerged as the second largest exporter of rice and has captured 4 per cent of the global wheat market.

AIGEA co-chairman Satnam Arora said instead of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) taking up the job of transporting and offloading grains at a subsidised price to exporters which involved huge costs, the government should allow exporters to purchase from mandis and open market and render a subsidy for specific grains to cover up the difference between the MSP (which is higher) and the prevailing global prices. The subsidy rendered may be in the form of subsidising inland transport or ocean freight or direct assistance.