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Nepal requests rice and sugar from India

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The Nepal government has requested the Indian government to export supplies of rice and sugar as a precautionary measure to address the potential shortage that it can face during the upcoming festive season. According to a senior government official in Kathmandu, the request was made through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week, reported PTI. 

Nepal’s Commerce and Supplies Ministry Joint Secretary Ram Chandra Tiwari said, “Nepal has requested India to provide one million tonnes of paddy, 100,000 tonnes of rice, and 50,000 tonnes of sugar”. According to him, while there is no current and immediate scarcity of rice and sugar, concerns have arisen due to rumours of potential shortages that might happen during the upcoming festive season.

In general, ever since India banned the export of non-Basmati white rice on July 20 to check domestic supply and control retail prices, there has been confusion and panic in the market over the availability and shortage of rice and have subsequently led to the rise of the prices of rice. Following India’s ban of rice exports, Nepal observed an immediate surge in retail prices by NRs 200 to NRs 250 per 25-kg bag. These prices are anticipated to rise further, particularly during the festive season, according to the report.

As per the report, It’s heavily dependent on imported food, mostly from India. In the period from April 2021 to March 22, Nepal’s rice imports, reached an unprecedented high of 1.4 million tonnes, encompassing 1.38 million tonnes of non-basmati and 19,000 tonnes of basmati rice, sourced primarily from India.

On festive season which spans October to November, could face elevated rice and sugar prices if measures to ensure consistent supply aren’t effectively enacted. Analysts have expressed concerns about the potential for traders to engage in hoarding, which could lead to price hikes as the festive season approaches.

Meanwhile, as Nepal is requesting India to export rice and sugar, India is currently importing tomatoes from Nepal to increase the domestic supply and bring the inflating prices which were due to heavy rainfall affecting procurement centres in India in control.

Also, have a look at : Fugitive Khalistan separatist reportedly hiding in Nepal, Indian embassy urges Nepalese government to detain him

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