Centre extends wheat procurement season till May 31

Earlier on Saturday, India banned wheat exports in a bid to check high prices amid concerns of wheat output being hit by scorching heat wave.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, May 15, 2022, 05:02 PM IST
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The Centre has extended the wheat procurement season till May 31, Union Minister Piyush Goyal announced on Sunday. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, "To ensure that no wheat farmer faces inconvenience, Modi Sarkar extends wheat procurement season till 31 May 2022. We are committed to ensuring farm prosperity."

India bans wheat exports to check high prices

India on Saturday banned wheat exports in a bid to check high prices amid concerns of wheat output being hit by scorching heat wave.

The decision would help control retail prices of wheat and wheat flour, which have risen by an average 14-20 per cent in the last one year, besides meeting the foodgrain requirement of neighbouring and vulnerable countries.

"The export policy of wheat is prohibited with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification issued late Friday. The export shipments for which irrevocable letters of credit (LoC) have been issued on or before the date of this notification will be allowed.

According to the DGFT notification, wheat exports 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 governments.

India's wheat exports stood at an all-time high of 7 million tonnes, valuing USD 2.05 billion, in 2021-22 fiscal year on better demand of Indian wheat from overseas. Of the total wheat exports, around 50 per cent of shipments were exported to Bangladesh in the last fiscal.

To justify the ban, Commerce Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey and Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja held a press conference and asserted that there was no crisis of wheat supply in the country and the move was to control prices of wheat and wheat flour.

"At the end of the day, food is a very sensitive item for every country because it affects everybody - poor, the middle and the rich," the commerce secretary said, adding the wheat flour prices have gone up in some parts of the country by about 40 per cent.

The government is also committed to ensuring the food security of neighbours and vulnerable countries, he said.

"So, we have kept the window open for (our) neighbours. We have also kept the window open for a large number of vulnerable countries if their governments do make such requests...The order is to divert trade to the needy, poor and the vulnerable countries," he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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