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Government bans wheat export to rein in food inflation

Vibha Sharma

New Delhi, May 14

In a surprise move, the Union Government has announced a ban on wheat exports with immediate effect.

Eases norm for shrivelled grain

Prescribed limit for procuring shrivelled grain without value cut hiked to 18% from 6%Wheat so procured be stacked and accounted for separately, govt tells Punjab, Haryana

1,113 LMT First estimate of wheat output (2022-23)

1,050 LMT Wheat estimate revised due to early summer and heatwave

195 LMT estimated procurement

180 LMT actual procurement recorded as of May 13

75 LMT wheat with shrivelled grain included in procurement

Beating price rise

This decision has been essentially taken in view of the price rise that is happening. Sudhanshu Pandey, food secretary

A notification termed the decision part of measures to control rising prices. Export shipments for which irrevocable letters of credit (LoCs) were issued on or before the date of the notification would be allowed, said the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). Wheat exports will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the Centre to meet other countries’ food security needs and based on the request of their governments, it said.

In another decision, the government increased the limit of shrunken and shrivelled grain to 18 per cent from the prescribed 6 per cent for Central procurement during 2022-23. Stating that the decision has been taken “to reduce the hardship of farmers and to avoid the distress sale of wheat”, the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ministry told Punjab and Haryana that the limit of shrivelled and broken grain in all districts, including Chandigarh, be relaxed up to 18 per cent under uniform specifications without any value cut. “Wheat so procured shall be stacked and accounted for separately. Any deterioration of stock procured under the relaxed scheme during storage shall be the sole responsibility of the governments,” it told the two wheat-producing states.

Earlier on May 5, the Centre had categorically ruled out imposing any curbs on exports, saying farmers are getting prices higher than the MSP even as experts advocated caution and sought a ban or upper limit on exports.

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