Union Government on 17 January 2013 lifted ban on exports of processed foods and value added agricultural products in order to facilitate uninterrupted supply.
The uninterrupted export of such processed food products is projected to be regulated by duty. The list of exportable goods includes processed foods from agricultural commodities, such as wheat, rice, onion and milk.
Benefits of Lifting of Ban
• The lifting of Ban is supposed to give a push to India’s weak merchandise exports and is estimated to add 5 billion dollar to exports over the next two year with West Asia identified as a key market for processed food from India.
• It will help Indian exporters to move up the value chain as well as create additional employment in the country.
• An always open policy of this sector will not only help reduce wastage of perishable products but also encourage value addition.
• Exports of processed or value-added products constitute a very small portion of overall exports and hence, their continuation would not affect the availability in the domestic market owing to very marginal processing capacity in the country.
It was seen that Exports of agricultural and processed foods have almost doubled to around 86018 crore rupees in 2012-13 from 43727 crore rupees in 2011-12.
Presently the major agricultural exports of India are that of raw or primary produce and unprocessed or semi processed agriculture commodities, which are vulnerable to restrictions attributing to various reasons such as bad weather conditions, deficient or delayed rainfall and food security issue.
The Government opened up export of rice and wheat since September 2011 and has emerged a large exporter of these commodities since then.