Amid the ongoing export restrictions, the Indian government has sanctioned the export of 103,600 tonnes of food to Bhutan on humanitarian grounds – as an exception for strategic partners. Read to know more.
Since Bhutan depends on imports to meet its domestic demands of food, the Indian government has decided to waiver the ongoing export restrictions and export 103,600 tonnes of food items. Following the export of 79,000 tonnes of non-white basmati rice to the country back in August, the government will supply 14,184 tonnes of wheat grain, 5,326 tonnes of wheat flour, 15,300 tonnes of all-purpose flour and semolina, 20,000 tonnes of sugar as well as 48,804 tonnes of broken rice under humanitarian operations.
The exception in exporting food items comes quick on the heels of the ongoing talks between China and Bhutan to establish diplomatic ties – one that might benefit India greatly. The export to Bhutan will be done through a government export body which has been set up by the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (MCCS) – known as the National Cooperative Exports Ltd. The body that was set up in 2002 deals with the primary purpose of exporting agricultural produce and allied items. Along with food items, Bhutan also imports oil and fuel, machinery, base metals, electrical appliances, vehicles and wood.
India contributes to 80% of Bhutan’s total imports, in which the country also imports spices, meat and poultry products and dairy – among other things. After India imposed a non-basmati white rice ban earlier in July this year, 1.98 million tonnes of rice was also exported to key African and Asian countries. The decision to impose the ban was one of the measures undertaken by the government to curb the rising prices of food within the country – including a ban on sugar and wheat exports in May 2022, and a restriction on the export of broken rice in September 2022.