“Over 2.5 lakh tonne of basmati rice valued at Rs 1,700 crore is held up in the Iranian ports since the past few months,” said Vinod Kaul, executive director of All India Rice Exporters Association. “We have requested the Indian government intervention in evolving a safe payment mechanism for Iran to resolve the current situation and prevent any future recurrence.”
Exporters said there was no clarity. “We have not got our money since past two to three months. Now, we hear that consignment lying in Bandar Abbas port in Iran will be cleared and we will get our money, but things are not clear till date,” said Jai Kumar Gupta, CEO at Supple Tek Industries, which exports rice to Iran. A Karnal-based exporter said that some exporters were facing the problem of remittances coming from Iran for consignments shipped in the last five months.
Gupta said exports should be allowed only against advance payment or a letter of credit. Satish Goel of Shree Jagdamba Agrico Exports said UCO Bank and IDBI bank would have Rs 5,000-6,000 crore in their rupee accounts, which has especially been created to facilitate the India-Iran trade settlement, so there needs to be another payment mechanism. “We are currently not taking any new order as we are worried about getting timely payment. The situation may improve by the third quarter, if the governments intervene,” said Goel.
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