Days after the government scrapped a tender to import
one million tonnes of wheat, agriculture minister Sharad
Pawar today said India will buy five million tons of
the grain from overseas this year to augment buffer
stock for meeting any exigencies.
have to import five million tonnes of wheat to raise
the buffer stock position," he told reporters.
decision comes even as the United States said it cannot
accept stringent wheat import norms set by India but
warned that New Delhi may end up paying a higher import
price for the foodgrain in the international market
by excluding it from the suppliers list.
which has decided to import five million tonnes of wheat,
however, said it wanted Washington to participate in
the import process.
is true that talks have been held with the US government.
We want US should also participate in our wheat import
process", Pawar said.
wheat is among the highest quality in the world and
is safely shipped to over 110 nations, including every
importer of significance except India", a statement
from the US embassy said.
hurdles still remain, as the United States cannot agree
to import standards that are impossible to certify and
are not in line with international norms", the
said that by excluding it from the market, "India
decreases competition, which significantly raises the
cost of imported wheat and translates into higher flour
prices for Indian consumers."
would be the second year in a row that India, the world''s
second-biggest wheat producer, would import the grain.
The government had imported 5.5 million tonnes last
year to augment its depleted buffer stock owing to low