Govt may decide on lifting wheat export ban after Rabi season | business | Hindustan Times
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Govt may decide on lifting wheat export ban after Rabi season

business Updated: May 15, 2010 13:57 IST

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The Commerce Ministry on Saturday said it is considering lifting the ban on wheat exports after the Rabi marketing season (April-June).

In early 2007, the government banned exports of wheat to augment domestic availability.

"We are waiting for the Rabi season to be over, then you get a good fix on (that) how much has come in...," Commerce Secretary Rahul Kullar told reporters on the sidelines of an APEDA function in New Delhi.

He was replying to a query on whether the government is considering to remove curbs on wheat export amid overflowing granaries in the Central Pool on the back of bumper crop in the last two years.

He further said that storage problem for the commodity was a matter of concern.

"It is a matter of concern. We are doing something about it," Khullar noted.

India, the world's second largest producer, harvested a record 80.68 million tonnes of wheat in 2009. This year, the output is pegged marginally down at 80.28 million tonnes.

Record production and better remunerative price (MSP) to farmers helped the Centre in procuring 25.3 million tonnes of wheat last year.

As on March 1, 2010, the wheat stock in the Central Pool was 183.88 lakh tonnes, much more than the buffer requirement of 40 lakh tonnes till April 1, according to the government data.

Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution, has said states have said that procurement figure would reach 26.2 million tonnes this year. Wheat is being procured at the minimum support price of Rs 1,100 per quintal.