Since the Narendra Modi government came to power, many big claims were made, one of which it said that they would help the world in the vaccination campaign. Meanwhile, they were unable to complete the vaccination campaign for the citizens of India. Recently, on one hand, he had made a big claim that he would provide foodgrains to the world. On the contrary, on 14 May, a big decision was given by him to ban the export of wheat. This proposition gave an impression of their contradictory ideologies.
The Modi government of India has banned the export of wheat grains outside the country. In the ongoing situation of the Russia-Ukraine war, the food crisis has increased in many countries of the world. Since that, wheat has been exported in large quantities from India, but now the government has suddenly banned its export. Wheat prices are increasing rapidly in the domestic market. In such a situation, it’s believed that to keep the rising prices of wheat in the domestic market under control, the government has decided to ban the export of wheat grains.
Status of the Indian foodgrains production
The Modi government of India has banned the export of wheat grains with immediate effect. This decision was taken when the prices of wheat had shown an upward trend all over the world. Apart from this, the supply of wheat grains across the world has been disrupted by the Russian-Ukraine war. Meanwhile, the Indian government’s decision to stop wheat exports has been criticized by the G-7 groups of countries.
Germany Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir has said that this move of India will increase the food crisis in the world. We urge India to understand its responsibility as a G20 member. With the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, there has been a major decline in the export of wheat because both these countries are the world’s largest food exporters. At the same time, the demand for wheat from India has increased after supplies from Ukraine and Russia were affected. Although Ukraine says it has 20 million tonnes of wheat grains, its trade route has been completely wiped out by the war.
While expressing the major threat of war to the world, US envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield articulated that we urge the global nations to elude from breaking the supply of wheat export, also added that India has always put firm and determined viewpoint, so we would expect that Indian government may review its statement in the major issue.
The Modi government at the centre has imposed a conditional ban on the export of wheat grains. The government has made this announcement because of the rising price of wheat in the domestic market. However, the export of wheat will continue under certain conditions. This decision of the government will not be applicable to already contracted exports.
Its notification has also issued on 13 May by the government. The notification states that the food security of India, neighboring countries, and other vulnerable countries are at risk. The government said that the move was to manage the country’s overall food security and to support the needs of neighboring or vulnerable countries, the notification further said, adding that the government of India would address the food security needs of neighboring and other vulnerable developing countries. Also, articulate that India is committed to providing for those adversely affected by sudden changes in the global wheat market and who are unable to access an adequate supply of wheat.
The Ad-hoc ban on the export of wheat, taking immoral steps by the Modi government, will tarnish the reputation of India as one of the major exporting countries. The current situation of the war has made panic across the world because Russia is the largest country in the world’s total wheat production. Its share in the overall export of wheat is 23.92%, whereas 8.91% of wheat grains have been exported from Ukraine. In this way, about 33% of the wheat grains have just disappeared from the market. This situation has created a terrible food crisis all over the world.
India’s exports have been only to its neighboring countries- Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. This time, Europe was also expecting wheat. But they are shocked by the decision of the Modi government.
The rising mercury gave a blow to the government, who expected that at this time, the rabi crop would be record-breaking. Wheat alone, it was estimated that there would be a crop of about 120 million tonnes. Therefore, the government had decided that 10 million tonnes of wheat would be exported. But the heat falling before Holi destroyed all the guesses. The reality is that the production of wheat has been less than 100 million tonnes.
Government procurement from above was also minimal because traders picked up wheat from the farmers’ fields by paying more than the MSP. In Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, the government wheat procurement target was not met.
In such a situation, if a crisis arose in front of the government itself, how would it be able to fulfill the promise of providing food to all? That is the major reason for a ban on the export of wheat. Fearing a shortage of wheat, the prices of wheat started increasing in the Indian food market. But now this decision of the government has come under control.
Did the Modi government once again appear contradictory in its statement?
Contradictory statements have been made many times by the Modi government, recently it was claimed by the government that the food crisis is emerging in the form of a new crisis due to the increasing threat of war.
Meanwhile, while having words with US President, Prime Minister Narendra Modi states that if the World Trade Organization gives a permit then, India is ready to serve foodgrains to the world. He also added that India is self-reliant to feed foodgrain to its countrymen and from now onwards it is capable of exporting foodgrains to the world.
On the flip side, the Modi government on 13 May banned the export of wheat. Therefore, the whole scenario has made the antithetical statement of their interest. India’s consumer price inflation has recorded a major surge of 7.79% in April which is the highest in eight-year whereas retail food inflation is showing an upswing trend of 8.38%. When the government knew these figures in advance, why did they make statements like providing food supply, the opposite statement made them can predict a new crisis for the world. Also, what about the statement articulated by him from which he expressed his wish that there is a need to save the world from starvation.
This may tarnish India’s global standpoint and image somewhere. At the same time, it was a great achievement for a developing country like India, that they could become a major wheat exporter in the world. The government has put the farmers in a position of loss or loss, wherein in any case, the farmers themselves are in utter despair. Government’s recent autocratic move, when farmers could get a better price for their crops, at the same time the government has banned the export of wheat. This can be considered an anti-farmer move of the government because the ban was imposed by the government when the farmers would get 10% more price than the MSP for their crops.