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Specific policy on exports of value-added food products likely

Final proposal is likely to be placed before the Cabinet for approval by end of this month

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Worried over declining exports, the government is likely to come out soon with a specific policy for shipments of such as casein, sesame oil, peanut butter and wheat flour.

The Commerce Ministry has circulated the draft note in this regard and the final proposal is likely to be placed before the Cabinet for approval by end of this month, a ministry official said.

"We do not have any specific policy for exports of value-added products. India is the world's second largest producer of wheat, rice and sugar, but in the absence of policy certainty, the country loses opportunity to be a regular supplier of these premium items," the official said.

The government had either banned exports or put in place quantitative restrictions on many food items like dairy products, edible oils and wheat flour In the past few years to control inflation.

The official said the new policy would also help boost country's exports, which is declining since May this year.

Experts too said that such policy is needed to establish Indian exporters as reliable players in the global markets.

"It is step in the right direction. It is very much needed at the time when the government keep on changing its stand on exports of these value added products," Former Director of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) K T Chaco said.

He said that "knee-jerk" reactions of the government on the issue impacts relation between buyers and suppliers.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Rafeeq Ahmed said that uncertain policy impacts Indian exporters severely and benefits other countries traders.

"It is a big competitive global market so we need a consistent policy," Ahmed added.

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