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Indian exporters fear Pakistan could seize control of basmati rice market

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  • India maintains $1,200 a ton MEP for basmati rice.
  • Millers fear decision will hamper overseas sales.
  • India and Pakistan are the only growers of basmati rice. 

NEW DEHLI: Indian exporters have criticised their government for maintaining the current floor price for basmati rice, saying the move will allow Pakistan to capture the market.

India and Pakistan are the only growers of basmati rice. New Delhi exports more than 4 million metric tons of basmati – the premium long-grain variety famed for its aroma – to countries such as Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

New Delhi set a floor price, or minimum export price (MEP), of $1,200 a ton in August. It was expected to cut this MEP but the government on Saturday said it would maintain the floor price until further notice.

“Farmers find themselves in a frustrating predicament,” said a leading exporter who asked not to be named.

“We are empowering Pakistan to seize control of the basmati rice market in the short term.”

India, the world’s biggest rice exporter, has also curbed exports of non-basmati rice varieties in an attempt to keep a lid on domestic prices ahead of key state elections.

“We are staring at massive losses,” said Sukrampal Beniwal, who grows basmati varieties in the country’s north. “We have harvested our crop, but there are no buyers.”

Farmers plant summer-sown rice varieties in the rainy months of June and July and start harvesting their crops in October. As the new harvest trickles in, prices start to fall.

Farmers, millers and exporters had believed the government would lower the MEP, which they consider too steep, as the new-season crop comes to market.

“The decision to continue with the $1,200 MEP is a big blow to us,” said Vijay Setia, a leading exporter from the northern state of Haryana, one of India’s breadbaskets, adding that the government needed to cut it to $850-$900 a ton with immediate effect.

Basmati rice farmers are struggling to sell their produce because millers and traders have stopped coming to dozens of wholesale markets to buy, Beniwal said.

Paddy prices of basmati varieties have fallen more than 20% since the government imposed the MEP, traders said.

Basmati is not widely consumed in India and the government doesn’t buy the variety to build state reserves.

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April FDI in Pakistan increased to $358.8 million, according to SBP

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The inflow for April was $358.8 million, up 177% from $132 million in April FY23. Still, that was 39% more than the $258 million from March.

China was the largest investor, with $439.3 million in FDI from the nation between July and April of FY24—the greatest amount—as opposed to $604 million during the same period of FY23. In April, China accounted for $177 million of the total investment.

With $51.93 and 51.89 million invested in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada came in second and third, respectively.

The power industry was the main draw for foreign investors in FY24, which ran from July to April. This period’s FDI in the power industry was $637.5 million, compared to $776.2 million the previous year. From $338 million to $460 million this year, Hydel Power garnered more attention.

Continue reading: In FY23–24, Pakistan’s per capita income increased to $1680.

According to a separate data released on Wednesday, Pakistanis’ per capita income increased to $1680 in FY2023–2024.

The size of the national economy grew from $341 billion to $375 billion in the current fiscal year, according to figures made public by PBS.

Throughout this fiscal year, Pakistanis’ yearly per capita income increased by Rs 90,534; the monthly rise was Rs 7,544.

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OGRA forbids the purchase or sale of inferior LPG cylinders.

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The 313 LPG marketing and 19 cylinder-producing companies received notices from the OGRA, which described the act of refilling inferior LPGO cylinders as harmful.

Avoid supplying LPG to unlicensed distributors, the OGRA has cautioned LPG marketing companies. Only approved distributors will be able to sell and buy LPG going forward, per the notification, which states that new SOPs have been developed for the LPG industry.

Additionally, the warning said that the decision was made in an effort to preserve both lives and the business in response to an increase in cylinder blast occurrences.

Price reductions of Rs 20 per kilogramme for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were implemented in Quetta on May 3.

There is a reduction of Rs 20 on LPG prices, which means that the price per kilogramme drops from Rs 280 to Rs 260.

The costs of LPG were reduced by Rs 20 per kilogramme earlier, bringing the total decrease to Rs 40 per kilogramme over a few weeks. This is something worth noticing.

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PIA announces a significant student discount.

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According to an airline spokesman, the national flag carrier has recently raised the baggage allowance to 60 kg.

Currently, PIA flies one flight per week on Sundays between Islamabad and Beijing.

The discount may be useful to students who intend to spend their summer vacations in Pakistan or who wish to return home after earning their degrees.

Before, students who wanted to visit China could now receive a 27% reduction on their fares through PIA.

On Eid ul Fitr, the national flag airline also reduced the cost of domestic flights by 20% for both economy and executive economy classes.

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