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Shahrukh to promote Basmati rice

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Monday, July 09, 2007
After promoting cars, soft drinks, biscuits, chyawanprash, computers etc. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is being sought to promote Basmati rice.

SRK is being sought by rice exporters to promote Basmati rice, but there is a hurdle as the government has raised objections over the global Basmati promotion campaign.

Upset over objections raised by the government on their Rs 21-crore proposal to launch the campaign featuring SRK, rice exporters will present their case before 'higher-ups' in the Commerce Ministry.

"I will soon seek an appointment with higher officials in the Commerce Ministry and explain how this campaign, to be launched in Europe and Middle East, is important for the country's rice growers and the industry," All India Rice Exporters' Association (AIREA) Chairman Vijay Setia said.

The AIREA along with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) had finalised the campaign to be executed by Grey Worldwide and Crayon Advertising. It was to be financed by the Basmati Development Fund (BDF) which is created by contributions from exporters.

One of the objections raised by the government on a complaint from a Punjab-based association relates to the fact that the entire money lying with BDF would be spent on this high profile campaign. "What is the use of keeping this money in a fixed deposit when we can get a definite value addition from advertising," Setia asked.

He said since the exporters are enjoying good times in the world market, they can again bring money to BDF many times over 'in a matter of days'.

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