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Indo-Myanmar Trade: India Adopts Blow Hot And Cold Policy

IMPHAL, Nov 9: With little progress in the diplomatic process for import of 30,000 metric tonnes of rice from Myanmar to Manipur which was already agreed between New Delhi and Yangon, India‘s sincerity on the arrangement has been come under serious questions and scrutiny.

According to information received from Commerce and Industries Department, Government of Manipur, the Government of India has been paying little attention to the arrangement to import 30,000 metric tonnes of rice from Myanmar on zero duty.

It was agreed that 30,000 metric tonnes of rice should be transported from Myanmar to Manipur on zero duty by September 30 last.

Although the deadline for importing rice has expired, Commerce and Indus- tries Department, taking cognizance of the agreement between the two countries, had repeatedly sent written appeals to the Ministry of Finance and Revenue for extension of the deadline for import of rice.

But no response has been forthcoming till date.

In case the complete waiver on duty is withdrawn, normal duty of 70 per cent would be levied. In this case, there would be no meaning in importing rice from Myanmar. Earlier when the condition of highways was in deplorable condition coupled with rainfall and when FCI was unable to lift the State’s quota of rice due to prolonged economic blockades, it seemed the Government of India was somewhat interested in importing rice from Myanmar, conveyed the source.

But following improvement in the condition of highways and resumption of rice transportation by FCI, and harvest of paddy, it appeared that the Government of India has buried the idea of rice import from Myanmar.

Whereas the Government of India has apparently kicked aside the idea of importing rice, thousands of hectares of standing paddy were destroyed by the recent flood when the paddy plants were almost ready for harvest.

With the FCI unable to lift the allotted quotas for the months of April to October this year, most of the allotted quotas have lapsed, informed the source.

In response to the State Government’s appeals to the Government of India to extend the period for lifting the rice quotas of April to October, the Government of India did extend the periods but very shortly.

However, transportation of rice quota for the month of November has already started, added the source.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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