Relaxing norms, the government on Tuesday said it has decided to allow shipments of wheat consignments that were registered with the customs authority before the wheat export ban came into force on May 13.
On May 13, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issued a notification banning exports of wheat with immediate effect to control price rise. “It has been decided that wherever wheat consignments have been handed over to Customs for examination and have been registered into their systems on or prior to May 13, such consignments would be allowed to be exported,” the commerce ministry said in a statement.
It said that the government has also allowed a wheat consignment headed for Egypt, which was already under loading at the Kandla port. The move follows a request by the Egyptian government to permit the wheat cargo that was being loaded at the Kandla port.
Mera International India Pvt Ltd, the company engaged for the export of the 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 and only 17,160 MT was left to be loaded, it added.
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The government decided to permit the full consignment of 61,500 MT and allowed it to sail from Kandla to Egypt, the ministry said. The move also comes against the backdrop of reports that thousands of trucks carrying wheat were in the queue outside some ports due to the sudden announcement of the wheat export ban.
The government had earlier restricted wheat exports to manage the overall food security situation in India and to support the needs of neighbouring and vulnerable countries that have been adversely affected by the sudden changes in the global market for wheat and are unable to access adequate wheat supplies.
As per the order issued on May 13, the restrictions would not apply in cases where prior commitments have been made by private traders through a Letter of Credit as well as in situations where permission is granted by the government to other countries to meet their food security needs and on the requests of their governments.
“The order served three main purposes: ensure India’s food security and check inflation, it helps other countries facing food deficit, and it maintains India’s reliability as a supplier,” the ministry said in the statement, adding that the order also aimed to provide a clear direction to the wheat market to prevent hoarding of wheat supplies.