The Centre on Thursday suspended the export of non-basmati white rice to boost domestic supply and keep retail prices under check.

The non-basmati white variety constitutes about 25% of all the rice that India exports, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said. “The prohibition on export of non-basmati white rice will lead to lowering of prices for the consumers in the country,” it said.

The Central government noted that the domestic prices of rice are on the rise with retail prices going up by 11.5% in one year and by 3% since last month. There will be no change in the export policy of non-basmati par boiled and basmati rice, which forms the bulk of rice exports, the Centre clarified.

“This will ensure that the farmers continue to get the benefit of remunerative prices in the international market,” the ministry said.

The decision comes after heavy rains during the monsoon season caused significant damage to crops in the country. India accounts for over 40% of global rice shipments and competes with Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan in the international market.

The ban imposed by India could inflate global food prices that have already been driven up by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and erratic weather patterns, Reuters reported.