K V Thomas today said it is working on a proposal to allow private traders in additional Food Corporation of India (FCI) wheat export from the central stocks as part of its efforts to create space for the new crop.
So far, the government has allowed export of 4.5 million tonnes of wheat from the Central pool stocks mainly by State-run trading corporations.
"We are thinking of allowing private traders in export of additional wheat from the FCI. Discussions with various ministries are going on," Food Minister K V Thomas said at an Assocham event on commodity futures market.
The Minister, however, did not divulge the quantity of additional wheat that will be allowed for export. But sources said that the Food Ministry has circulated a Cabinet note for inter-ministerial discussions on allowing exports of an additional 5 million tonnes.
As on February 1, the FCI had a wheat stock of 30.8 million tonnes. The government is under pressure to create storage space for new wheat crop, which will be harvested from April onwards. The wheat output is pegged at 92.3 million tonnes in 2012-13.
Meanwhile, private traders have so far exported about 2 million tonnes of wheat, which was sourced from the open market.