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President’s Desk

Dear Friends,
Greetings and best wishes!!!
With the culmination of another two-month period (July-August), we received the export information from Government of India which shows a positive growth of 5.56% during the first four months of FY23 over the same period of FY22. The volume of business has been 15,05,739 tons versus 14,30,472 tons.
The period was ripe with rumors about possible restriction on rice exports which sent shock waves in the trade circles. But it all proved to be mere speculation. In the inter-ministerial review meeting held in the Government of India on 30th August, 2022 no such decision was taken. This comes as a sigh of relief as exporters were scared about them in pipeline and future projects.
The GST Council in its 47th meeting held in Chandigarh on 28th-29th July, 2022 took several decisions and the one that impacts rice exports was that the concept of branded and unbranded was replaced by pre packaged and pre labelled which entails that any rice which is pre packaged and labelled but packed in up to 25 Kg packs will attract 5% GST. This is attributable to the definition of pre packaged term in accordance with Legal Metrology Act 2009 and FSSAI Act. An attendant issue is regarding the goods processed and packed at a third-party mill for an exporter and transported directly to the port of dispatch. The clarification has been sought from Ministry of Finance by AIREA which has also sought an appointment for clarification. AIREA organized a one-day Workshop on the subject through RSA Legal on 24th July, 2022.

The Special meeting of our Governing Body members was held at Srinagar, Kashmir on 26th-28th August, 2022 where we deliberated on issues like pesticide residue and how to tackle this spreading menace, market and crop scenario, market fee in Haryana etc. A session with Motivational Speaker was also organized for members to boost their morale in regard sustenance of the trade.
AIREA’s efforts also got the DGFT notification issued towards exemption from EIC/EIA inspection for non-EU European countries which is valid till 31.12.2022.
In regard to pesticide residue issue in Gulf countries particularly Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, AIREA has persistently been in contact with respective Indian Missions and we have been informed that the matter about deferment of the notice issued by Dubai and Sharjah Municipalities about commencing pre shipment sanitary testing as a mandatory condition effective 1st September, 2022. The matter was discussed by our Mission in Abu Dhabi with the Hon’ble Minister of Foreign Affairs and also during the Joint Commission Meeting where the Hon’ble Minister of Environment and Climate Change was also present. The indications are positive but we have to keep our fingers crossed till a formal notification is issued.
A meeting was also organized with Joint Secretary Plant Protection in early July to discuss the issue of withdrawal of the FSSAI draft notification of October, 2020 which proposes detrimental levels of MRLs of pesticides. JS had understood the matter and assured that he will take up the matter with Secretary Health.
The month of August was filled with two auspicious festivals – Raksha Bandhan and Ganesh Chaturthi. The month was also interspersed by the INDEPENDENCE DAY which was celebrated with tremendous vigor all over the country with the theme of “Har Ghar Taranga”. I wish Lord Ganesh would shower all his blessings on all of us to flourish in our trade in the times to come and the nation prospers and flourish with stellar performances.

With sincere regards.
Nathi Ram Gupta