India has no immediate plans to abolish the import duty on wheat; however, it is poised to reduce the limit on the quantity of wheat stocks that traders and millers can retain, as indicated by Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra in his recent announcement to reporters on Thursday.
Last month, a government official stated that New Delhi was contemplating a reduction or potentially the complete elimination of the existing 40% import tax on wheat as a measure to increase wheat supplies.
Chopra announced that India is prepared to release additional wheat stocks into the open market if necessary to control prices during the upcoming festive season.
“There’s adequate availability of wheat, rice and sugar in the country but some unscrupulous elements are trying to take advantage of rumours about supplies,” he added.
Wheat prices are currently hovering close to their highest point in seven months, and on Thursday, sugar prices reached their highest level in six years.
Chopra stated that the country currently holds 8.5 million tonnes of sugar, which is adequate to meet demand for more than three and a half months.
“Despite sufficient stocks, a sense of artificial shortage is being created in the country,” he said.
“The government is fully prepared to meet festival demands for rice, wheat and sugar,” he stated.
India ranks as the second-largest producer of both sugar and wheat globally.
He mentioned that edible oil prices have decreased in recent weeks, following trends in international markets. However, there are no plans to increase the import duty on edible oil.