Govt to decide soon on lifting ban on wheat products export
Faced with the problem of surplus wheat stocks, the Government will in the next 10 days decide on lifting ban on export of wheat products and increasing stock limits.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said against the requirement of 110-120 lakh tonnes of wheat a year for public distribution system (PDS), the stocks in Government godowns is 226 lakh tonnes.
Similarly, against the buffer norm of 40 lakh tonnes, the current buffer stock was about 130 lakh tonnes, he said.
“We are faced with the question of how to dispose this (stock),” he said. “Too much stock is a problem for this country today.”
According to advance estimates, wheat production will be comfortable this year. “We should be ready to procure more (wheat) than last year,” he said.
Pawar said the government had previously placed restrictions on wheat to ensure adequate availability of the foodgrain. These included open import without duty, banning of export of wheat products and placing of stock limits.
With adequate availability, there has been suggestions of removing these restrictions, he said. “We would be able to take a view on all these issues in 10 days’ time.”