The export and import policies for agricultural products, which include the decisions on lifting/imposing bans on export/import of individual agricultural products, are framed keeping several factors in mind, such as availability of surplus over the domestic requirements (including the requirement of buffer stock and strategic reserve, if any), concerns of food security, diplomatic/humanitarian considerations, international demand and supply situation, price competitiveness, need to balance between remunerative prices to the growers and availability of agricultural products to common man at affordable prices etc. During the last three years, no bans have been imposed on export/import of any of the major agricultural products except for the ban on export of onions, which has been imposed only recently from 29th September, 2019. As such,no study has been conducted in this regard.
The Agriculture Export Policy, brought out by the Government in December 2018, aims at a stable trade policy for agricultural products, involving following steps:
- The processed agricultural products and all kinds of organic products will not be brought under the ambit of any kind of export restriction (viz. Minimum Export Price, Export duty, Export bans,Export quota, Export capping, Export permit etc.) even though the primary agricultural product or non-organic agricultural product is brought under some kind of export restrictions.
- Identification of commodities that are essential for food security in consultation with the relevant stakeholders and Ministries. Any export restriction on such identified commodities under extreme price situations will be based on the decision of a high-level committee. Also, any kind of export prohibitions and restrictions on the identified commodities above would be taken up ina WTO compatible manner.
Consequent to the approval of the policy, the mandate of the Committee of Secretaries on ‘Essentialcommodities’ has been expanded to provide a recommendation on export restrictions on a few commodities, which are essential for food security, under extreme price situation only.
This information was given by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.