After restricting the export of wheat and flour, the government has restricted the export of maida (wheat flour), suji (semolina), and wholemeal atta, with effect from August 14. "Export policy of items (wheat flour (atta), maida, samolina (rava/sirgi), wholemeal atta and resultant atta) under H.S. Code 1101 remains 'free', but export shall be subject to the recommendation of an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) constituted for allowing the export of wheat," says an order signed by Santosh Kumar Sarangi, ex-officio additional secretary, DGFT.

During the period from 8th August 2022, till 14th August 2022, these consignments of maida, samolina (rava/sirgi) will, however, be allowed to be exported under certain conditions, says the notification of the DGFT, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry wing.

The shipments will be allowed to export where the loading of the above-mentioned items on the ship has started before the latest notification. If the consignment has been handed over to the customs before the latest notification and is registered in their system, the authorities will allow the outbound shipments to move.

So far, there were no restrictions on the export of wheat flour (atta), maida, samolina (rava/sirgi), wholemeal atta and resultant atta. However, the export of wheat flour (atta) was still subject to the recommendation of the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on the export of wheat.

Under the revised policy, the export of all these items will now be subject to the recommendation of the IMC that was formed for allowing the export of wheat. "Export of all the shipments approved by IMC shall be allowed subject to the issuance of Quality Certificate by Export Inspection Council (EIC) or its EIAs at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata," says the DGFT.

A month back on July 12, the government imposed restrictions on the outbound shipments of wheat flour. Under this framework, exporters dealing in wheat flour will have to seek an inter-ministerial committee’s approval before sending any outbound shipment.

Wheat is the third most-produced cereal - after rice and maize - and the second most produced for human consumption.

On May 13, the Centre restricted wheat exports to manage the overall food security situation in India. The decision was taken to support the needs of neighbouring and vulnerable countries adversely affected by the sudden changes in the global market for wheat and those unable to access adequate wheat supplies.

The Centre had also come up with stricter norms to obtain registration certificates (RCs) for wheat exports to stop fraudulent practices by shady exporters who were applying for RCs using "improper documents".

China, the world’s largest wheat producer, has yielded more than 2.4 billion tonnes of wheat over the last two decades, making up roughly 17% of total production from 2000-2020, shows the IMF data. The second-largest wheat-producing country is India. Over the last two decades, India has produced 12.5% of the world’s wheat. Like China, India keeps most of its wheat domestic because of significant food demand across the country.

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