Ban on Wheat Export - IE - 09/01/23
The government is considering lifting a ban on wheat exports and is looking at the current supply of wheat in the central pool and the distribution needs under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
->Current Scenario of Wheat Distribution Across the Country:
-India is the world's second-biggest wheat producer after China. But it accounts for less than 1% of the global wheat trade. It keeps a lot of it to provide subsidised food for the poor.
-Its top export markets are Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka - as well as the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
-According to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), wheat stocks have been decreasing at a rate of 2 million tonnes per month over the last six months and are currently the lowest in six years.
-The government has taken a number of measures to address concerns about low wheat procurement and rising wheat prices.
-The wheat output for the year 2023 is expected to be better than last year, which could help increase the wheat supply in the market.
->Reasons for the Banning of Export of Wheat:
-Price of Wheat Globally: soaring global wheat prices have put pressure on food security, not only in India but also in neighbouring and vulnerable nations.
-Impact on Wheat Production: The ban also prompted a decrease in wheat production, after its production was affected by a heatwave that swept across the country during March-April 2022, while the FCI was unable to accumulate adequate buffer stocks.
-Rising Inflation: The rising inflation also prompted this step. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) in India has moved up from 2.26% at the start of 2022 to 14.55 (May 2022). Retail inflation, too, hit an eight-year high of 7.79% in April, 2022 driven by rising food and fuel prices.
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