Govt claims no major decline likely in wheat production, export restrictions to curb prices
According to Commerce Secretary, no major decline is likely in wheat production. However, he did not specify the extent of the decline. The government had recently said that wheat production was likely to go downward by 5.7 per cent.
Restrictions on exports of wheat have been imposed to control its rising prices in the domestic market, said Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam. He was speaking at a press conference on Saturday. Only a day ago, the government issued a notification prohibiting wheat exports. However, wheat export deals for which payments have already been made will be allowed to be fulfilled. According to Subrahmanyam, no major decline is likely in wheat production. However, he did not specify the extent of the decline. The government had recently said that wheat production was likely to go downward by 5.7 per cent. Subrahmanyam was speaking at the press conference with the Food and Agriculture Secretaries. Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, said that the country had adequate food stocks.
Subrahmanyam said that the country should have adequate stocks of food items. Food items are sensitive commodities as they affect the poor, the rich and the middle class. It is, therefore, imperative to keep their inflation under control. He said that the price of wheat flour had gone up by 40 per cent. According to Subrahmanyam, “Apart from the food security of India, the Government is committed to ensuring food security of neighbours and vulnerable countries.” He said that the “government to government window has been kept opened” to let wheat go where the real need is.
Subrahmanyam said that 70 lakh tonnes (lt) of wheat had been exported from the country last year. Half of this went to Bangladesh. Regarding the current financial year, Subrahmanyam said that export deals had been struck for 43 lt of wheat so far. Of this, 12 lt of wheat has been exported in April and May and another 11 lt is expected to be exported. Subrahmanyam said that all export orders where the letter of credit had been issued would be fulfilled.