No immediate plan to import wheat: Pawar

No immediate plan to import wheat: Pawar
PTI
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First Published: Mon, Mar 24 2008. 04 05 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Mar 24 2008. 04 05 PM IST
NEW DELHI: The government has no immediate plans to import wheat as it is confident of procuring enough quantity for the buffer stock, Agriculture and Food Minister Sharad Pawar said here on Monday.
“We have no immediate plan for wheat import. The condition of wheat crop is good and the risk period is over,” he told reporters after meeting an official delegation from New Zealand.
Pawar expressed confidence that the government would be able to procure sufficient quantity of wheat this year.
India had to import wheat in the last two years to augment its buffer stock and meet the requirement of the public distribution system.
The Centre imported 1.8 million tons of wheat in 2007 as it could procure only about 11 million tons against the targeted 15 million tons. In 2006, the country imported 5.5 million tons as procurement level was very low at 9.2 million tons.
“Efforts are on to be self-sufficient. Our approach is to improve production and productivity,” Pawar said.
Replying to a query whether government is considering a bonus over and above the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat, Pawar said the current MSP is enough to expect a good procurement from the domestic market.
The minister noted that global prices of edible oils and wheat have come down substantially today.
He ruled out blanket ban on non-basmati rice export saying the import duty reduction will be enough to improve domestic availability.
The government had last week removed import duty on non-basmati rice from 70% to nil.
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First Published: Mon, Mar 24 2008. 04 05 PM IST