India To Allow Wheat Export Shipments Awaiting Customs Clearance

The government banned wheat exports earlier as part of its steps to control the spike in prices at home.

The government has also allowed a wheat consignment headed for Egypt (File)

New Delhi:

The Centre today said it has decided to allow shipments of wheat consignments, which were registered with customs authority before the ban on wheat exports came into force last week.

"It has been decided that wherever wheat consignments have been handed over to Customs for examination and have been registered into their systems on or prior to May 13, such consignments would be allowed to be exported," the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

Following a request by the Egyptian government, the Centre has also allowed a wheat consignment headed for Egypt, which was already under loading at the Kandla port, the statement said.

The move also comes against the backdrop of reports that thousands of trucks carrying wheat were in the queue outside some ports due to the sudden announcement of the wheat export ban.

The government had earlier banned the wheat exports on May 13 as part of its steps to control the spike in prices at home.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issued a notification, saying that the government had taken the decision "in order to manage the overall food security of the country and to support the needs of the neighbouring and other vulnerable countries".

The notification further said that the restrictions would not apply in cases where prior commitments have been made by private traders through a 'Letter of Credit', as well as in situations where permission is granted by the government to other countries to meet their food security needs.

Besides, the government will allow exports on requests from other countries, it said.

According to the Commerce Ministry, the order served three main purposes - to ensure India's food security and check inflation, help other countries facing food deficit, and maintain India's reliability as a supplier.

"The order also aimed to provide a clear direction to the wheat market to prevent hoarding of wheat supplies," the ministry said.

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