Government may lift wheat export ban after elections: report

A ministerial panel has agreed to lift the ban of export of wheat and wheat products from the country once elections are over in May, reports citing unnamed sources said.

''India will allow exports of two million tonnes of wheat once national parliamentary polls scheduled for April and May have been held,'' television channel CNBC TV-18 said.

With the schedule for the general elections already announced, the government cannot announce any major policy decisions that may affect the voting pattern.

The report comes after state-run Food Corporation of India floated tender for sale of around 500,000 tonnes of wheat in the domestic market.

The tender, issued early this week, sought lifting of the wheat by by 15 March, but prospective buyers like roller flour mills have cited insufficient time for lifting of the stock from FCI's godowns.

The deadline had been introduced to make room for the new crop arriving next month, sources said.

India, the world's second-biggest wheat producer, banned wheat and wheat exports in early 2007 as prices spiked.

FCI, however, said it reserved the right to reject any or all tenders and scrap the tender enquiry without assigning any reasons, at any stage, without any liability.