In news: Amid an export ban, the government has decided to route the sale of 12 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) of non-basmati white rice to 11 countries through National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL), a company set up recently with cooperative societies as its promoters.

  • On July 20, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) banned exports of non-basmati white rice following a surge in domestic prices.
  • In three separate orders since, it invoked the July 20 notification to approve the export of 12.52 LMT through NCEL to the UAE, Bhutan, Mauritius, Singapore, Nepal, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Guinea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the Seychelles.
  • “Export will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the Government of India to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of their government,” paragraph 2(iv) of the July 20 notification said.

National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL)

  • NCEL, an umbrella body for cooperative sector exports registered under the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002, was set up in January 2023. It has an authorised share capital of Rs 2,000 crore, with Rs 500 crore as the initial paid-up share capital.
  • Its chief promoter is the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF). The other promoters are: Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO), National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
  • It covers agriculture and allied activities as well as handloom and handicraft items by enrolling a large number of co-operatives under its fold, with a target to double its revenue by 2025 from the current level of about Rs 2,160 crore.
  • All cooperative societies from the level of primary to apex that are interested in exports are eligible to become members of the NCEL, which has an authorised share capital of Rs 2,000 crore. It aims to focus on exporting the surpluses available in the Indian cooperative sector by accessing wider markets beyond the geographical contours of the country.

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