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Centre approves 2MT wheat export to ease storage crunch
Vibha Sharma/TNS

New Delhi, July 3
Granting surplus states such as Punjab their long-pending demand, the government today gave its in-principle approval for the export of 2 million tonnes (MT) of wheat from its buffer stock to clear storage space for new crops.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved export of 2MT wheat from the government stock at a floor price of $228 (about Rs 12,400) per tonne, Food Minister KV Thomas said after the meeting.

While it has been decided to immediately allow export of 90,000 tonnes of wheat through bids received by public trading firm STC in its recent tender, a committee headed by the Commerce Secretary has been set up for exporting the remaining quantity. The view is that exports should wait till July when global prices could climb because of a shortfall.

The export of wheat is a demand voiced many times by the Punjab Government. Even though the matter was discussed at various levels, the Food Ministry decided to seek approval of the CCEA since offering subsidy on exports from government reserves was a sensitive issue involving funds and, therefore, required consensus from everyone concerned.

Even though Thomas said there would be no subsidy or losses in wheat exports, sources said the export would involve an outgo of Rs 1,263 crore. But grappling with the problem of storage capacity with godowns overflowing with a record 82 million tonnes of foodgrain against the storing capacity of 63 MT, the choices are limited.





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