The Indian government has decided to export white rice to Singapore despite the ban the government had introduced on exports of non-basmati white rice in July 2023. The announcement was made by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday evening (August 29), saying that the decision has been taken to meet the food security requirements of the South East nation.
The MEA in its statement said, “India and Singapore enjoy a very close strategic relationship, characterised by shared interests, close economic ties, and strong people to people connect. In view of this special relationship, India has decided to allow the export of rice to meet the food security requirements of Singapore.”
On August 27, India decided not to allow the export of non-basmati white rice below $1,200 tonne.
Notably, the non-basmati white rice was prohibited from export to check the domestic prices and ensure food security. Although parboiled and basmati rice was allowed to be exported, the government noticed that even non-basmati white rice was being illegally exported under the HS codes of parboiled and white rice.
The reason why Singapore is exempted from the ban is because India and Singapore share close diplomatic and trade ties, exceeding $30 billion. Singapore is considered to be one of the closest allies of India in Asia, and the island country has several of its investments in India.
Besides the exemption from the rice ban, India has several strategic reasons for keeping the island nation happy.