As India’s amended export policy about wheat flour kicks in Tuesday, July 12, traders said export of all wheat products has come to a standstill. There is no clarity if the new regulations apply only for whole wheat flour or all other products of wheat milling.
After India banned export of whole wheat on May 13, exporters had geared up to export atta, maida and semolina.
The central government issued a notification on July 6 to amend export policy of wheat flour (atta), which will come into force from July 12. As per the amended policy, the export of wheat flour remains free, however, it will have to get a recommendation from an inter-ministerial committee.
However, exporters say there is no clarity about which wheat products will be subject to the new notification.
“There is no clarity about whether the order regulating export of wheat flour is applicable only for atta or also for maida and other wheat products like suji, restaurant atta etc. As such, the export of all the wheat products has come to a standstill,” said Ajay Goyal, director, Shivaji Roller Flour Mill.
Traders say if the regulation excludes maida from its purview, then it may not serve the indirect purpose of controlling the quantum of total export of wheat products.
“The notification calls out for restrictions on export of “wheat flour (atta). Most of the export from India is of “refined wheat flour (maida)” and not whole wheat flour (atta). This interpretation will have zero impact on the intent of the restriction,” said Dhaval Meghpara, director, Shree Vanraj Besan Mill from Gujarat.
If the new policy is applicable only for whole wheat atta, then it may result in increase in export of maida, said the processors and exporters.
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