India has banned wheat exports to control the rising prices of the crop in the country, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said on Friday.
However, shipments ordered on or before May 13 will be exported, the government said. Exports will also be allowed in case permissions are granted by the Indian government to help other countries in meeting their food security needs, the notification added.
“The Government of India is committed to providing for the food security requirements of India, neighbouring and other vulnerable developing countries which are adversely affected by the sudden changes in the global market for wheat and are unable to access adequate wheat supplies,” it said.
India accounts for 13.53% of the world’s wheat production, making it the second-largest producer.
Before the Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, India only accounted for 1% of global exports. After the crisis, India was looking to export a record one crore tonnes of wheat in 2022-2023, PTI reported.
In the past few weeks, many countries have asked India for wheat. While Turkey has ordered 50,000 tonnes, Egypt wants 10 lakh tonnes.
But with the rise in global demand, wheat production in India has plunged, notably due to the severe heatwaves since March.
On May 4, the Union government reduced the amount of wheat allocated to states and Union Territories under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. The deducted wheat will be compensated with rice, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said.
The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was launched to provide free foodgrains to over 80 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act during the coronavirus pandemic. Under the scheme, the Centre provides five kilograms of foodgrains per person free of cost every month.
The revision on May 4 came after the food and public distribution ministry lowered its estimates for procurement of wheat for this year to 198.12 metric tonnes from 439.92 metric tonnes.