Affirming that there is no wheat supply crisis in the country, Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said on Saturday that the government’s decision to ban wheat exports will help control rising prices domestic markets and to meet the food needs of India’s vulnerable neighbors and countries.
The government has banned wheat exports with immediate effect. However, export shipments for which irrevocable letters of credit have been issued on or before the date of this notification will be permitted.
Subrahmanyam said the decision was made at the right time.
“There is no dramatic fall in production. I don’t think there is a crisis that you have to imagine. There is enough food available in government stocks and private stocks”, a- he said during a joint press briefing with his departmental counterparts. of food and agriculture.
Explaining the reasons for the decision, the Commerce Secretary said the main objective was to “control inflation”.
“So what is the purpose of this order. What it is doing is in the name of prohibition – we are directing the wheat trade in a certain direction. We don’t want the wheat to go erratically towards places where it might just be hoarded or where it cannot be used for the purposes we hope it would be used for,” Subrahmanyam said.
Emphasis was also placed on ensuring sufficient availability of food stocks in the country.
“At the end of the day, food is a very sensitive element for every country because it affects everyone – the poor, the middle and the rich,” he said, adding that wheat flour prices had risen. increased in some parts of the country by about 40 percent.
The government is also committed to ensuring food security for neighboring and vulnerable countries.
“Thus, 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 make such requests,” he added.
The secretary pointed out that the country exported 7 million tonnes of wheat in the last fiscal year, of which about 50% was shipped to Bangladesh.
Speaking about the current 2022-23 financial year, he said an estimated 4.3 million tonnes of wheat have been contracted for export so far.
Of this total, 1.2 million tonnes have already been exported in April and May, and another 1.1 million tonnes are expected to be shipped, he said, adding “if you have a valid order – letters irrevocable credit – this contract will be honoured”. Thus, India‘s credibility as a reliable supplier is maintained”.
Furthermore, he said that if the price situation improves, the government may reconsider this decision.