NEW DELHI: The European Union has given time to India till December 31 to meet the bloc's new norms on importing Basmati rice, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry CR Chaudhary said.
The new norms set by European Commission bring down the maximum residue limit (MRL) level for Tricyclazole (a fungicide) in Basmati rice to 0.01 mg per kg from next year. The norms are applicable on all rice-exporting countries.
"The European Union has asked us not to send Basmati rice to them because of some plague or technical points. We requested them to at least give us time, we have to make the farmer aware not to use this pesticide. They have given us time till December 31, 2017. But we have to maintain our quality," Chaudhary said while addressing a conference organised by Assocham here.
However, experts believe it may take two crop cycles for India to meet the new import norms.
Two aromatic Basmati varieties - PB1 and 1401 - are maximum exported to the EU. The shipments of these varieties with Tricyclazole MRL at 0.03 mg per kg were accepted so far from India.
According to industry experts, Pakistan stands to gain from the new norms as it does not use Tricyclazole on its crop and is looking at the opportunity to ship more from January 2018, even as India's Basmati exports to the bloc worth around Rs 1,700 crore are likely to be hit. India, the world's top rice exporter, shipped 3.5 lakh tonnes valuing Rs 1,744 crore of Basmati to the EU in 2016-17.