Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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India Bans Wheat Export With Immediate Effect, Congress Calls It ‘Anti-Farmer’

The Congress on Saturday hit out at the government over the ban on the export, saying it was an 'anti-farmer' measure as it deprives farmers of reaping the benefit of higher export prices.

India Bans Wheat Export With Immediate Effect, Congress Calls It ‘Anti-Farmer’
File photo of Congress meeting. Twitter/@RahulGandhi

India has banned wheat exports with immediate effect as part of measures to control rising domestic prices, according to an official notification. However, the export shipments for which irrevocable letters of credit (LoC) have been issued on or before the date of this notification will be allowed, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification dated May 13.

"The export policy of wheat … is prohibited with immediate effect…," the DGFT said. It also clarified that wheat exports will be allowed on the basis of permission granted by the Government of India to other countries to meet their food security needs and based on the request of their governments.

Congress slams wheat export ban, says move 'anti-farmer'

The Congress on Saturday hit out at the government over the ban on the export, saying it was an "anti-farmer" measure as it deprives farmers of reaping the benefit of higher export prices.

Asked about the government's move at a press conference on the second day of the Congress' ongoing 'Chintan Shivir' here, senior leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram said, "I presume that it is because the central government has failed to procure enough wheat. It is not that wheat production has come down, it is more or less the same. In fact, it may be marginally more."

Chidambaram said that on Friday, a Chhattisgarh minister had told him that the government there had procured 97 lakh tonnes of paddy.

If procurement had taken place, there would not have been any need to ban the export of wheat, he said.

"But let me add, banning the export of wheat is an anti-farmer measure. It deprives the farmer of reaping the benefits of higher export prices. It is an anti-farmer measure and I am not surprised, this government has never been very friendly to the farmer," Chidambaram said.

Bharat Krishak Samaj unhappy over wheat exports ban

Meanwhile, farmers' body Bharat Krishak Samaj (BKS) on Saturday expressed unhappiness over the ban on wheat exports, saying that restrictions on shipments of farm produce are an "indirect tax" on farmers.

Farmers will not be able to take advantage of high global prices, while India will lose credibility as a reliable trading partner, it said.

"Sadly, India has banned exports of wheat. Restrictions on agricultural exports are an indirect tax on farmers in countries where imposed," Bharat Krishak Samaj Chairman Ajay Vir Jakhar told PTI.

(With PTI inputs)

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