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Monday, 27 July 2015

Breaking News India has decided to introduce an import duty of 10 percent on wheat

The government is considering imposing 10 per cent import duty on wheat to curb shipments and liquidate poor quality grains lying in FCI godowns. 

At present, there is no import duty on wheat. Flour millers and private traders are importing wheat on lower global prices and lack of high-quality grains in the domestic markets. 

Imports are happening despite bumper domestic wheat output in the 2014-15 crop year and surplus stocks with the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains. 

"The Food Ministry has proposed imposition of 10 per cent import duty on wheat imports. A final call on this issue would be taken after consultation with the ministries concerned," a senior government official told PTI. 

"There is a need to restrict overseas purchases as there is sufficient stock in the country," the official added. 

FCI has procured 27.6 million tonnes of wheat so far in the current marketing year that started from April. "Of which, 20-30 per cent of the grain is of poor quality and that need to be disposed of soon," the official said. 

The corporation had to procure poor quality wheat as it relaxed norms for procurement of the grain this year to protect farmers, whose crop got damage due to hailstorms and unseasonal rains in February-April. 

Amid sluggish supply of high quality wheat, priva .. 

Amid sluggish supply of high quality wheat, private flour millers have started importing wheat from Australia for the first time in a decade. 

They have already contracted for import of 5,00,000 tonnes of wheat from Australia and are planning to purchase another 5,00,000 tonnes from France and Russia. 

It is cheaper to import as landed cost of wheat is about Rs 16/kg as against Rs 17-18/kg for wheat that is purchased and transported from Madhya Pradesh to Tamil Nadu. 

FCI has huge stock of 40 million tonnes of wheat despite drop in production to 90.78 million tonnes in 2014-15 from record 95.85 million tonnes in the 2013-14 crop year. 

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Pankaj Katba 
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