“Anti-Framer”: Congress Slams Centre Over Wheat Export Ban

Udaipur: The Congress slammed the government on Saturday for banning wheat exports, calling it a “anti-farmer” action that prevents farmers from benefiting from better export prices.

India has prohibited wheat exports with immediate effect, according to an official announcement, as part of attempts to curb soaring domestic prices.

At a news conference on the second day of the Congress’ current ‘Chintan Shivir’ here, senior leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram was asked about the government’s move “I assume it’s because the central government hasn’t been able to obtain enough wheat. Wheat production has not decreased; in fact, it has remained quite constant. In reality, it could be little higher.” A Chhattisgarh minister informed Chidambaram on Friday that the state government had procured 97 lakh tonnes of paddy.

If procurement had taken place, there would not have been any need to ban the export of wheat, he said.

“But let me add, banning the export of wheat is an anti-farmer measure. It deprives the farmer of reaping the benefits of higher export prices. It is an anti-farmer measure and I am not surprised, this government has never been very friendly to the farmer,” Chidambaram said.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification dated May 13, “The export policy of wheat is prohibited with immediate effect.” However, the export shipments for which irrevocable letters of credit (LoC) have been issued on or before the date of this notification will be allowed, the DGFT said.

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