Finance Minister advises WTO to let India export grains to needy nationstext_fields
NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has appealed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to allow India to export food grains from its public stockholding as several countries are facing food shortages in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. As per WTO norms, exports from public stocks are not allowed as these are procured at subsidized rates.
Speaking at a seminar in Bali, Indonesia on 'strengthening global collaboration for tackling food insecurity, Sitharaman said, "There is a hesitation in WTO that the grain so procured can't be brought to the market to export. If this is allowed, then the problem of hunger can be addressed in other countries", NIE reported.
"Through the world food programme we are able to give the amount which they may want but that is not the end of the story. Besides this, there are other countries also which need to sell food grain to others which are in dire need," she added.
Sitharaman said that the world program should also focus on local grain and not just on wheat, rice or a few pulses. She added that only focusing on fine grains can lead to lifestyle diseases due to excess gluten. 2023 will be celebrated as the International Year of Millet and India is a major millet producer in the world.