India is thinking of exporting two million tonnes of wheat from government stock involving a subsidy of Rs 1,000 crore and a decision in this regard is expected soon, according to a PTI report.
The proposal is to be taken up by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) shortly as part of government’s moves to offload food grains in view of storage crunch in the country. At present, the government has food grains stock of 82 million tonnes as of June one against the storage capacity of only 63 million tonnes, noted the report. Sources told the agency that the export of two million tonnes of wheat would entail a subsidy of around Rs 1,000 crore as the cost of the food grain in international market is lesser than in India.
In an effort to test the interest of global buyers in Indian wheat stock, state-owned trading company STC, under the Commerce Ministry, had recently floated a tender and about six-seven bids have been received. The export proposal is based on the recommendation made by the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) Chairman Dr C Rangarajan. What is more, the government is in the process of shedding some excess food grains rather than allow these to decay for lack of proper storage.
The Empowered Group of Ministers, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, recently decided to offload an additional eight million tonnes of rice and wheat to BPL families and bulk users at subsidised rates, costing Rs 10,000 crore to the exchequer, added the report.