India lifts ban on wheat futures

India's commodity market regulator on Friday lifted a two-year-old ban on trading in wheat futures, in a move that will help make grain exports of grain from the country competitive in the international market.

The ban on wheat futures was imposed in early 2007 when inflation was rising, and some political parties blamed futures trading for rising prices.

"Futures trading in wheat will begin as soon as commodity bourses ready their wheat contracts." Anupam Mishra, a director of the Forward Markets Commission, said.

No decision, however, has been taken on lifting the ban on futures trading in rice and two varieties of lentils, he said.

The government had, last year, imposed several curbs on physical and futures trade in commodities in the light of rising inflation.

Inflation rate has now fallen to near zero levels and a bumper crop and swelling buffer stocks have made the government change its stance.

The government allowed limited exports of non-basmati rice, which was banned last year, while it is expected to allow export of 2 million tonnes of wheat.