India on Tuesday decided to relax its ban on export of wheat on consignments that were registered with the customs authority before the order came into effect on May 13.

The Centre has also allowed a wheat consignment headed for Egypt that was already being loaded at the Kandla port in Gujarat, the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a release. The Egyptian government had requested India to allow exporting the consignment, the ministry said.

On May 13, India had banned wheat exports to control the rising prices of the crop in the country.

However, the sudden ban had resulted in chaos at ports. More than 4,000 trucks were lined up outside the Kandla port and four ships in the port were left half-loaded as exporters were unsure of what to do about their consignments, according to The Indian Express.

Also read: India’s abrupt wheat ban is yet another instance of shoddy policymaking that disregards consequences

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-’23.

However, wheat production in India 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.