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Exclusive-India has no immediate plan to lift wheat export ban, commerce minister says -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: PiyushGoyal, India’s Minister of Railways and Ministry of Commerce and Industry attends a session during the 50th World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos (Switzerland), January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By Aditya Kalra

DAVOS. Switzerland (Reuters). India doesn’t have immediate plans to lift a wheat export ban but said that it would continue direct deals with other governments.

On May 14, the second largest producer of wheat in the world banned overseas private sales. This was after an unprecedented heat wave that reduced production and saw domestic prices reach a record. After the announcement, global wheat prices rose after it.

“Currently, there is instability in the globe, if that (lifting the ban) were to happen, it would only be beneficial black marketeers. It would also help hoarders. and speculators. It will not help those who are most vulnerable or needy,” Goyal stated when asked by Goyal if New Delhi plans to permit private exports to be resumed.

In an interview with the World Economic Forum, Davos on Wednesday, he claimed that “the smarter way is to go it through the government togovernment route” which allows for affordable wheat to most of the poorest.

India has been contacted by many countries that import wheat, some of which are members of G7. They have requested India reconsider its ban on overseas wheat sales. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said this month that he was deeply concerned about the ban.

Goyal stated that he was in touch with both the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund to discuss the reasons behind India’s ban on wheat exports.