Government to lift ban on wheat exports after electionsMarch 5th, 2009 - 10:11 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) The government Thursday agreed in principle to lift the two-year-old ban on wheat exports once elections end in mid-May this year, said a top official.
The empowered group of ministers (eGoM), led by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee which met here Thursday, however, decided that the notification to this would be issued only after the end of the elections.
A formal clearance to this would also be taken from the Election Commission (EC), said a member of the eGoM.
The model code of conduct, which came into affect after the EC announced the Lok Sabha elections Monday, restrains the government from taking any major decisions that could lure voters.
According to the official, about two million tonnes of wheat would be allowed for exports.
The government banned export of wheat in February 2007 while export of non-basmati rice was banned in April last year to boost domestic supply and contain price rise.
A committee of secretaries, to be headed by Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar, would work out the modalities of the exports.
According to the eGoM member, curbs on the export of non-basmati rice would continue and the minimum export price on basmati would stay at the present level.