Call on rice, wheat exports in a month, says Khullar

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 30 2011, 04:44am hrs
The government will decide on lifting ban on export of wheat and non-basmati rice in a month, a top commerce ministry official said on Friday.

Wheat crop will come in April, rice crop has come ...decision will be taken in a month or so, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said when asked whether the government will consider allowing export of wheat and non-basmati rice as the country is all set to harvest bumper crop in 2010-11.

The government banned wheat exports in early 2007, while the shipments of non-basmati rice have been restricted from April 2008. The ban was imposed in both these items to boost domestic availability and control inflation.

The agriculture ministry has set a target of 82 million tonne of wheat production in 2010-11 and is hopeful of easily achieving it as the area under the crop is higher than the last year's and the weather condition is also conducive.

Wheat is grown only in the rabi season and the crop will start arriving from March end in the market.

India, the world's second largest producer of wheat, had produced a record 80.71 million tonnes in 2009-10 crop year (July-June).

Wheat and rice prices have largely remained stable in the domestic market.

Rice production, too, is expected to increase sharply to about 95 million tonne in 2010-11 against 89.13 million tonnes in the previous year.

Already in khariff season, the country produced 80.41 million tonne, while in the rabi season, the output is expected at about 15 million tonne.

However, the rice output would be lower than the record production of 99.18 million tonne achieved in 2008-09.

The government's buffer stock is also overflowing because of bumper wheat and rice production is last few years.

As on January 1, the government had 47.12 million tonne of wheat and rice in its godown as against the buffer norm of 25 million tonne.