NEW DELHI: The reason for the ban on wheat exports is to ensure food security of our citizens and ensure adequate food supply to the public distribution system and also ensure that we are able to direct food supplies to vulnerable food-deficit countries, said government secretaries of three departments of Food and public distribution Sudhanshu Pandey, Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanian and Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja. Sudhanshu Pandey, Department of Food and Public Distribution Secretary said,"I want to clarify it, again and again, it's not a ban on the wheat exports, to meet the food security requirements of other countries, even our own security requirements and to prevent this speculative wheat trading we took this step."
"We have enough stocks available of wheat. We have almost 657 metric tonnes of wheat and rice. We can expect prices to come down very soon because all this wheat and crop is available in the market," he added. Subrahmanian said, "wheat has been banned for exports keeping three things in mind. Number one is to protect the food security of our citizens. That means ensuring adequate food supply to the public system, which is the Public Distribution System and to check on prices."
"The second one is to ensure that we are able to direct food supplies to vulnerable countries vulnerable food-deficit countries and their people and help them as per the requirements including neighbouring countries," he stated. "And thirdly, to ensure that those who have firm contracts are able to honour their contracts. So you will see that people who have letters of Credit now for delivery in June, the stuff will be going but the only thing is we do not want new people to get into the game. The new ones will be there as per any particular government making a request," he further stated.
On the question that the export ban is nothing to do with China, Commerce Secretary said that "I am not going to respond to the leading questions, I said that the purpose of this is to direct the supplies in the direction where it will feed neighbouring countries and vulnerable countries." The Centre has amended the Export policy of wheat by putting its export under the "prohibited" category.
The order that was rolled out by the Ministry of Commerce late Friday night stated that the government has banned the wheat exports with "immediate effect". The government said that the move is being made to manage the overall food security of the country and to the needs of the neighbouring and other vulnerable countries.
"There is a sudden spike in the global prices of wheat arising out of many factors, as a result of which the food security of India, neighbouring and other vulnerable countries is at risk," said the Ministry in its notification. However, the export will be allowed in case of shipments where an irrevocable letter of credit is issued on or before the date of notification.
The export will be allowed on basis of permission granted by the government of India to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of the governments.