Govt not considering duty on wheat imports: Pawar

Govt not considering duty on wheat imports: Pawar

New Delhi: Union food and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar on Monday said the government is not considering imposing duty on wheat imports as of now.

“That issue was not there. I have not given the issue to the EGoM yet," Pawar told reporters when asked whether the government plans to impose import duty on wheat.

The government had banned wheat exports in early 2007 and made imports duty-free to augment domestic availability. It had imported about 7 million tonnes of wheat in 2006 and 2007 to meet its buffer stock requirement.

The question of imposing import duty on wheat arises in the backdrop of the country’s record 80.71 million tonnes production in 2009-10, surpassing last year’s output of 80.68 million tonnes.

Pawar said that the issue was not even being discussed at his ministry level.

Flour millers are against imposition of import duty on wheat as they require high-protein variety from Australia.

India could import about 2 lakh tonnes of wheat, mainly from Australia, this fiscal as against 1.58 lakh tonnes a year ago, flour millers had said earlier.