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No Plan To Import Wheat; We Have Sufficient Stock To Meet Domestic Requirements: Govt

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No Plan To Import Wheat; We Have Sufficient Stock To Meet Domestic Requirements: Govt

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The government has no plan to import wheat into India and the country has sufficient stocks to meet its domestic requirements and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has enough stock for public distribution. The Department of Food & Public Distribution said this on Sunday in response to media reports that government authorities are making preparations to buy wheat from overseas.

“There is no such plan to import wheat into India. Country has sufficient stocks to meet our domestic requirements and @FCI_India has enough stock for (public) distribution,” the Department of Food & Public Distribution said on Sunday in a tweet reply while responding to a news report.

Recently, news agency Reuters reported that India might abolish a 40 per cent duty on wheat imports and cap the amount of stocks that traders can hold, in order to dampen record high domestic prices. Also, a Bloomberg report said government authorities are making preparations to buy wheat from overseas.

In March, a record-breaking heat wave threatened India’s wheat output. This pushed the prices of wheat upwards in the country. The daily average retail price of wheat had then increased 19.34 per cent to Rs 29.49 per kg, compared with Rs 24.71 per kg a year ago. Subsequently, in May, the government banned the export of wheat with immediate effect, to control food prices in the domestic market.

The government earlier this month also restricted the exports of maida, semolina and all variants of wheat flour (atta), with effect from August 14. Their exports are now allowed subject to clearance from the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Wheat Exports.

Last month, the Centre also restricted the export of plain atta amid the global supply disruptions in wheat. The DGFT had said, “Global supply disruptions in wheat and wheat flour have created many new players and has led to price fluctuations and potential quality-related issues. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain the quality of wheat flour exports from India.”

The country’s wheat flour exports during 2021-22 rose sharply in tandem with wheat exports. In the financial year 2021-22, the country exported a record over 7 million tonnes of wheat, worth around $2.12 billion, which in value terms was 274 per cent more than the same period last year.

Recently, wheat prices in India recently rose about 14 per cent in one and a half month. It was because of the high demand from millers who will make products like maida, biscuits, flour and suji, and supply issues due to the monsoon season. The price of mill-delivered wheat in the country’s northern region rose from a low of Rs 2,260-2,270 a quintal in June to Rs 2,300-2,350 recently.

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