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No immediate plan to lift ban on wheat exports: Pawar

business Updated: Apr 08, 2010 20:26 IST

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today there is no immediate plan to lift the ban on wheat exports though a record 82-million tonne production is projected this year and storing the grain could be a problem.

"Many countries have enquired about wheat supplies from India, but the government will take a call later," Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters here when asked expected record wheat output and the possible storage problems.

Wheat production looks extremely good this year. To make storage space for the new crop, the government may not immediately consider lifting the ban on export of wheat, but will instead encourage domestic sales, he said.

"At present, we have enough stock of wheat... We have asked private players to buy," he said, adding that the government would review foodgrain stock situation in June.

Recently, government officials had said wheat output may touch a record 82 million tonnes, higher than the earlier estimate of 80.28 million tonnes, in the 2010-11 season.

As on April 1, the government's wheat inventory stands at 16.12 million tonnes, which is used to meet emergency needs and run a number of welfare programmes.

However, stocks are expected to swell further as the harvest has just begun. Wheat is sown in October-November and harvested from April.

Signalling its confidence about another bumper harvest this year, the government, which banned exports of wheat in early 2007, allowed 50,000 tonnes of overseas sales to Nepal in February.