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India:FSA meet on basmati standards in UK next wk
NEW DELHI: A crucial meeting is scheduled for next week in London to discuss the standards for Basmati, world’s costliest rice, imported into the UK.
Official sources here said the meet convened by Food Standard Agency (FSA) of UK and to be attended by representatives of India and Pakistan assumes importance as the European Union has proposed changes in its current rice import regime which provides for a 250 euros a tonne import duty concession on brown Basmati imports.
“The meeting will look into the definition of basmati while taking into account authentication of samples from India and Pakistan. Our endeavour should be to ensure there is no differentiation between the so called traditional and hybrid varieties of this premium rice”, sources said.
They said there are proposals for a differential duty on traditional and evolved basmati with the suggestion that the former must attract higher import duty.
However, if this is accepted, India’s imports to EU or for that matter any other region will be badly hit, since contribution of evolved Basmati rice in overall trade has been rapidly increasing in the past few years.
Coordinator of the World Agricultural Forum, Madan Diwan said it is not a matter of trade alone; if India accepts categorisation of Basmati in terms of traditional and hybrid varieties it will be tantamount to giving up on the unique geographical claim it has on the commodity.
MGR Archive 26.8.2003
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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