December 23, 2016 / 7:25 AM / 7 months ago

Government agencies will not import wheat for now - food minister

1 Min Read

A farmer standing on a plastic drum winnows wheat in a field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, March 29, 2016.Amit Dave/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Government agencies will not import wheat at least in the near term, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday, as private players ramped up overseas purchases following a rally in local prices.

"We've sufficient stocks for the PDS (public distribution system), but there is some tightness in the open market. That's why we have reduced the import duty to zero," Paswan said referring to the government-run food welfare programme.

India suspended its 10 percent import duty on wheat after droughts in the past two years depleted stocks and raised domestic prices, a move that traders said could raise India's overseas wheat purchases to their highest in a decade.

Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Malini Menon

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