The Indian government on Monday allowed exports of one million tonnes of non-basmati rice, lifting an over three-year old ban, in the wake of overflowing godowns, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
The decision to this effect was taken by an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here.
"The EGoM has decided to allow exports of one million tonnes of non-basmati rice but a decision on allowing wheat exports has been deferred," a source said after the meeting.
The ban on non-basmati rice was imposed in April 2008 because of high food inflation. Wheat exports have been prohibited since 2007.
Sources said the exports of the staple rice has been allowed as the country's godowns are overflowing with the bumper crop. There is also an acute shortage of storage facilities.
While food inflation still remains high at 7.61 per cent, the prices of wheat and rice have remained stable.
Currently, the government godowns are overflowing with over 65 million tonnes of foodgrains, while the storage capacity is only 62.23 million tonnes.
The Agriculture Ministry has pegged total food grains output at 245 million tonnes for the 2011-12 crop year, as against 235.88 million tonnes last year.