NEW DELHI: Three days after the government decided to ban wheat exports, citing the country’s food security, it sought to clarify its stand on Tuesday. It said it is allowing shipments of wheat consignments already registered with the customs authorities before the ban came into force on May 13.
“It has been decided that wherever wheat consignments have been handed over to the Customs for examination and have been registered into their systems on or prior to May 13, such consignments would be allowed to be exported,” said a statement of the Department of Commerce.
“The government has also allowed a wheat shipment headed for Egypt, which was already under loading at the Kandla port. This followed a request by the Egyptian government to permit the wheat cargo being loaded at the Kandla port,” said the statement.
M/s Mera International India Private Limited, the company engaged for export of wheat to Egypt, had also given a representation for completion of loading of 61,500 MT of wheat of which 44,340 MT had already been loaded.
The government said only two kinds of shipments were to be allowed exports: one, in the case of permission already granted to other countries to meet their food security needs. The other is based on the request of governments and contracted exports against which letters of credit have already been issued.
On May 13, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade had issued a notification banning exports of wheat with immediate effect to control rising prices of ‘atta’ and to ensure enough stocks for maintaining food security in the country.
The government has maintained that it supports the needs of neighbouring and vulnerable countries that have been affected by sudden changes in the global wheat market. The Commerce Ministry sought to dispel confusion over India’s stance vis-à-vis wheat export. “The (export ban) order served three main purposes to ensure India’s food security, check inflation and help other countries facing food deficit, while maintaining India’s reliability as a supplier. The order also aimed to provide a clear direction to the wheat market to prevent hoarding of supplies,” it said.
Loaded & stuck
- 4,000 trucks carrying wheat stranded outside Deendayal Port at Kandla in Gujarat
- From this port, wheat is primarily transported to African countries, Bangladesh, South Korea and Yemen
- 20-25L tonnes of wheat believed to be lying at the Kandla port godowns, complex
- 4 vessels berthed at the port; 3 await clearance
- 1 vessel, ‘Mana’, granted permission to load
- 17,160 tonnes of wheat and allowed to sail to Egypt