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India’s ‘wheat waiver’ WTO demand is risk-fraught

  • Published
    1st Aug, 2022

Context:

Two granaries of the world, Russia and Ukraine are indulged in a geopolitical crisis, which has led to economic crises and several consequences like food crises for several countries. In order to fill the gap in the food supply and ensure food security for all, India is urging for the waiver of the ban on food grain exports from public stockholdings.

The rationale behind India’s Public Stockholding Policy:

  • Secured income: India’s Public Stockholding (PSH) policy is based on procuring food from the farmers at an administered price, i.e., minimum support price (MSP) which is generally higher than the market price. This procurement of foods from farmers at MSP serves the objective of securing the remunerative prices for the farmers and ensuring a sustainable income for the farmers.
  • Food subsidy: Food subsidy programmes by the government to the underprivileged are supported by the stockholdings of food by the procurement through MSP.

Thus, India’s PSH policy serves the twin objectives of farmers' income and food subsidy to the underprivileged.

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