Red faces in Agri Ministry as despite bumper crop, Govt allows duty-free import of wheat(theindianexpress)
Red faces in Agri Ministry as despite bumper crop, Govt allows duty-free import of wheat Decision, despite bumper crop, taken by other ministries, says top official. 63 SHARES FacebookTwitterGoogle+Email Written by Harish Damodaran | New Delhi | Updated: December 13, 2016 5:52 am Farmers, as on December 9, had planted 225.63 lakh hectares (lh) area under wheat, compared to 202.28 lh during the same period last year. (Representational image) The Centre’s decision to allow duty-free wheat imports, just when sowing of the new crop is on, has left red faces in the Union Agriculture Ministry. The Ministry has been consistently maintaining that India had produced a bumper wheat crop in 2015-16. In its last estimate, released on August 2, Krishi Bhawan had pegged the output at 93.50 million tonnes (mt), up from 86.53 mt in 2014-15. This was despite government agencies procuring only 22.96 mt of wheat in the last rabi marketing season (April-June), as against 28.08 mt from the previous year’s crop.