Wheat processors have approached the government to seek permission for wheat import under the advance authorisation scheme, so that they can export value-added products, an official said.
An advance authorisation scheme allows duty-free import of inputs, which have to be mandatorily used in products that are required to be exported within a specified time. They are not allowed to sell the products in the domestic market.
“We have received the request from wheat processors. They are seeking policy change as at present there is a ban on wheat and its products’ export. The ban also applies for goods imported under the advance authorisation scheme,” a commerce ministry official said.
The directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT), under the ministry, would have to change the policy to meet their demand. On May 13, India banned wheat exports in a bid to check high prices amid concerns of wheat output being hit by a scorching heat wave.
In August, the government also prohibited exports of wheat flour, maida, semolina and wholemeal aata with a view to curb rising prices.
India’s wheat exports stood at an all-time high of 7 million tonnes, valuing USD 2.05 billion, in 2021-22 fiscal on better demand for Indian wheat from overseas. Of the total wheat exports, around 50 per cent of shipments were exported to Bangladesh in the last fiscal.
Russia and Ukraine are the major exporters of wheat, accounting for around one-fourth of the global wheat trade. The war between the two countries has led to global wheat supply chain disruptions, thus increasing the demand for Indian wheat.
Wheat flour exports from India have registered a growth of 200 per cent during April-July 2022 compared to the corresponding period in 2021.
As per the government estimates, wheat production is estimated to have declined to 106.84 million tonnes in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) against 109.59 million tonnes in the previous year. Wheat is grown only in winter.