Home India India relaxes wheat ban, allows export of consignments registered till 13 May

India relaxes wheat ban, allows export of consignments registered till 13 May

India put wheat under prohibited category last week to ‘manage the overall food security of the country’.

Labourers loading up wheat sacks on a truck at the grain market in the Khanna district of Punjab, India, on 30 April 2022 | Bloomberg

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday relaxed its ban on wheat exports and said consignments on or prior to 13 May would be allowed.

The Commerce Ministry said in a statement: “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.”

On 14 May, the government banned wheat export with immediate effect – to manage “the overall food security of the country and the needs of the neighbouring and other vulnerable countries”. The government cited the sudden spike in global prices of wheat as one of the reasons.

The Centre also allowed export in case of shipments where an irrevocable ‘letter of credit’ was issued on or before the date of ban.

However, the ban faced intense opposition at home, and was also criticised by the G7 grouping, the German foreign minister, several experts, and even a union of Russian grain exporters.

Experts feared that the move could also trigger a domino effect, prompting other countries to follow suit and restrict the supply of other grains, like rice.

India is the world’s second-largest producer of wheat after China.

Also read: Ban on wheat export is tyranny. It stops farmers from getting a windfall from higher prices