Amid food security concerns, India may not agree to exemption to WFP purchases from export restrictions

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New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): India may not agree to exemptions for World Food Programme (WFP) at World Trade Organization’s 12th ministerial conference scheduled to be held in Geneva from June 12 to 15, sources told ANI.

Sources said that due to national food security concerns, India may not agree to exemptions for the WFP.

The government had on May 13 banned all private wheat exports with immediate effect. However, the option to export wheat as a ‘tool of economic diplomacy’ was kept open. India will bilaterally permit the export of foodgrains to other nations on their request in order to counter the spiralling global food crisis. The unusually hot conditions are likely to result in a decrease in India’s wheat output this year.

Government sources said India has been extending food aid to the WFP and vulnerable countries in the neighbourhood.

Eighty countries including Singapore have supported proposals against export restrictions on WFP’s non-commercial purchases for humanitarian purposes.

According to sources, agriculture is an important and sensitive issue for India.

They said World Trade Organization’s response to pandemic and moratorium issues related to e-commerce will also be discussed in the WTO ministerial conference, apart from agriculture and fisheries. (ANI)

 

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