India on Thursday defended its policy and decision to ban wheat exports stating that it is necessary to adequately appreciate the importance of equity, affordability and accessibility of food grains.
“India has always been supportive and helped its partners in distress even during Covid-19. These measures on wheat exports should be seen from that context,” MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters at the briefing.
He said: “There has been an unjustified hike in the food prices. We are committed to ensuring that such adverse impact on food security is effectively mitigated and the vulnerable are cushioned against such changes”.
The MEA spokesman said the government has announced some measures regarding wheat export on May 13.
“These measures allows export on the basis of approvals to those country who needed to meet their food security demands and this policy will ensure that we truly respond to those who are in need,” he explained.
It may be mentioned that Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, on Wednesday (May 18) had expressed concern over global food insecurity while addressing the high-level Ministerial meeting on ‘Global Food Security-Call to Action’ in New York.
“Several low-income societies are currently facing the dual difficulties of rising costs and limited access to food grains. Even countries with ample supplies, such as India, have suffered an unwarranted surge in food costs. Hoarding and speculation are clearly at work. This cannot be allowed to go uncontested “ Muraleedharan has said.
On the visit of US special envoy on Tibet Uzra Zeya, the MEA spokesman said she did meet senior officials.
“Discussions focused on global and regional issues of mutual interest. Both sides also discussed follow-up to PM’s participation in the summit for democracy in December 2021 that was hosted by US President Biden,” Bagchi said.
In fact, it can be mentioned here that Ms Zeya on Tuesday held an “engaging” discussion with foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra on regional issues of mutual interest.
“Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra had an engaging discussion with US Under Secretary of State Uzra Zeya on regional issues of mutual interest,” Bagchi had tweeted earlier.
Meanwhile, he also said that India will continue to press the Chinese side to take measures so that Indian students who require to go back are able to go and do not suffer anymore because of the Covid-related restrictions.