International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva on Tuesday urged India to reconsider its ban on wheat exports as soon as possible.
Speaking to NDTV at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the IMF chief said, "I do have an appreciation for the fact that India needs to feed nearly 1.35 billion people and I do have appreciation for the heatwave that has reduced agricultural productivity, but I would beg India to reconsider as soon as possible because the more countries step into export restrictions, the more others would be tempted to do so and we would end up as a global community less equipped to deal with the crisis."
Earlier on May 13, the Centre banned wheat exports as part of its measures to control rising domestic prices. “The export policy of wheat … is prohibited with immediate effect…,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said. It also clarified that 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.
Meanwhile, Agriculture ministers from the Group of Seven, or G7, countries condemned India’s move to ban wheat exports.
“If everyone starts to impose export restrictions or to close markets, that would worsen the crisis,” German Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir said at a press conference. “We call on India to assume its responsibility as a G20 member," he added. The agriculture ministers said they would also "recommend" the topic be addressed at the G7 summit in Germany in June, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to attend.