Wheat import duty for private traders will continue at
the existing rate of five per cent and the government
has no plans to further cut import duty rates for private
trade, a senior finance ministry official said.
have no plans to cut import duty on wheat as of now. We
will review the situation in December," the official
June, the government slashed customs duty on wheat imports
by private flourmills and traders to five per cent from
50 per cent even as the country''s food stocks continued
to plunge. India''s food stocks stood at 7.33-million tonnes
on August 1, down from 12.9-million tonnes a year ago.
demanded that they should be allowed to import wheat at
zero duty, the rate at which the State Trading Corporation
imports on the government account for the public distribution
STC is proceeding with a fresh tender for purchase of
1.67-million tonnes of wheat over and above the 3.83-million
tonnes it contracted since March this year.
government had, earlier this week, allowed import of an
additional 20-lakh tonnes of wheat at zero customs duty
as part of measures to meet the shortfall in procurement
of wheat for public distribution. The imports are being
handled by STC and will continue till February 28, 2007.
government has also allowed state governments to put caps
on the amount of wheat and pulse stocks individuals or
traders can hold in order to stop hoarding.
prices have been rising due to poor output while pulses
prices have been rising because of a shortage in supplies
from a major exporting country.
cabinet also lifted all restriction on inter-state movement
of cereals and pulses.