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2011-07-28

Wheat export ban lifted

Discussion to lift wheat ban

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday that the issue of wheat exports was being discussed with the Commerce Ministry and the matter would be sorted out soon.

Confusion over lifting of ban on wheat exports arose after Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said recently, "Yes, there is no ban. Wheat exports are allowed."

Later, Food and Commerce Ministers clarified that the decision in this regard would be taken at the next meeting of the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on food.

"We are consulting with the commerce ministry and we will be able to sort it out,” Mr. Mukherjee told reporters in New Delhi, when asked to comment on the differences between the Agriculture and the commerce ministries on wheat exports.

The government had banned wheat exports since early 2007 to boost domestic supply and contain inflation.

The proposal to open exports was also supported in the wake of shortage of storage capacity, sources said.

At present, the government godowns are brimming with 37.8 million tonnes of wheat stock in view of bumper output.

According to the latest estimates from the Agriculture Ministry, the country's total wheat output is pegged at 85.93 million tonnes in the 2010-11 crop year (July-June) as against 80.80 MT in the previous year.

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