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Italian food job

The finance minister said on Friday that he plans to impose an import duty on international wheat purchases

A neat mystery seems to have been solved.

The June trade data showed a sharp rise in food imports. Many analysts were puzzled. So were we. This was soon after the weather office had made its first estimate of rains for this year.

One view was that the Indian government was quietly building up a food hoard in preparation for a weak monsoon.

Cut to August. The finance minister said on Friday that he plans to impose an import duty on international wheat purchases.

Wheat imports into India will be taxed for the first time in eight years. Reuters reports that flour millers in the private sector had placed huge orders for premium varieties of Australian wheat that are sought after to make pastas and pizzas because of their high protein content.

So our changing eating habits are having an impact on the trade deficit. Now let us wait for some nut cases to argue that our evil love for Italian food is harming national interest!

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