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Central govt relaxes export ban order on wheat: Registered consignments up to May 13 can be shipped, Egypt to get 61,500 MT Indian wheat

The Govt decided that wheat consignments that have been handed over to Customs for examination and registered into their systems on or prior to 13th May would be allowed to be shipped.

On May 17, Tuesday, the central government announced relaxations to its previous order restricting wheat exports. According to the news agency ANI, the order read, “It’s been decided that wherever wheat consignments have been handed over to Customs for examination and registered into their systems on or prior to 13th May, such consignments would be allowed for export.”

According to reports, a wheat consignment bound for Egypt that was already being loaded at the Kandla port was also allowed to proceed. The decision was taken after the Egyptian government had requested that the wheat cargo be loaded at the Kandla port.

“M/s Mera International India Pvt. Ltd., the company engaged for export of the wheat to Egypt, had also given a representation for completion of loading of 61,500 MT of wheat of which 44,340 MT of wheat had already been loaded and only 17,160 MT was left to be loaded,” the relaxation order said.

“The government decided to permit the full consignment of 61,500 MT and allowed it to sail from Kandla to Egypt,” it read.

On Tuesday, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), an arm of the commerce ministry that deals with export and import matters, requested that wheat exporters with irrevocable letters of credit be issued registration of contracts (RCs) (LoC). The government has allowed wheat shipments with valid irrevocable LoC.

Media spreads canards over central government’s decision to restrict wheat exports

It may be recalled that on Thursday, there were media reports that the Indian government has temporarily banned wheat exports with immediate effect. The media reports insinuated that the Modi government’s decision is anti-farmer as it has denied the farmers the opportunity to sell their produce at much higher global rates.

The global agriculture market has been volatile ever since Russia launched special military operations in Ukraine, a major wheat-producing nation and a significant supplier to the European market. As a result, wheat prices have increased due to short supply and increased demand in the global markets.

The sudden spike in the prices has affected smaller and poor countries, which are not only finding it tough to procure wheat from global suppliers but are also hampered by high import bills. Anticipating the instability and price fluctuations in the global agricultural market, the Indian government has taken a prudent step to enforce export control orders on wheat.

However, the media has been spinning the decision to portray that the Indian government is denying Indian farmers an opportunity to sell their produce at higher prices in the global markets. Besides that, the media has been claiming that the government is banning export for the reasons of “food security”, alluding that the Modi government may not have sufficient buffer stocks of wheat to cover up the additional requirement of grains in future in case prices of grain continue to soar up in coming months.

OpIndia had reported on how the decision to impose a ban on wheat exports by the Modi government was not hasty as being portrayed by a section of the media but rather based on multiple factors. The government sources speaking to OpIndia also confirmed that there is also a China factor behind the sudden decision to ban the export of wheat.

Meanwhile, India had also issued a press statement on Saturday, explaining that the move to limit wheat exports will help to regulate food costs and promote food security in India and other deficit nations and that India is a reliable supplier who honours all commitments.

On Sunday it said it would keep a window open to export wheat to food-deficit countries at the government level despite the restrictions. Commerce Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam told reporters the government will also allow private companies to meet previous commitments to export nearly 4.3 million tons of wheat until July.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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