Current Affairs PDF

Cabinet approves Amendment to Export Policy for Wheat or Meslin Flour; Amends the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011  

AffairsCloud YouTube Channel - Click Here

AffairsCloud APP Click Here

Cabinet approves

On August 25, 2022, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi approved the proposal for amendment of the policy of exemption for Wheat or Meslin Flour ( Harmonized System(HS) Code 1101) from export restrictions/ ban.

  • The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will issue a notification for the same.

Reason behind amendment:

i.To enable restriction on the export of Wheat Flour in order to curb rising prices of wheat flour and ensure food security of the most vulnerable sections of the society.

ii.Earlier, there was a policy not to prohibit or put any restrictions on the export of Wheat flour.  Therefore, a partial modification of the policy was required by withdrawing the exemption from ban/ restrictions on export for Wheat Flour.

Circumstances that led to increase the prices of wheat flour in India:

Russia & Ukraine are the major exporters of wheat accounting for around 1/4th of the global wheat trade. The war between them led to the global wheat supply chain disruptions increasing demand for Indian wheat. As a result, the price of wheat in the domestic market showed an increase.

After this, the Central Government took a decision to put a prohibition on export of wheat in May 2022 for the food security of 1.4 billion people of India.

  • However, this prohibition led to the increased demand of wheat flour in foreign markets and its exports from India have registered a growth of 200% during April-July 2022 compared to the corresponding period in 2021.
  • In 2021-22, India exported wheat flour worth $246 million. The exports stood at about $128 million during April-June of FY23 (Q1FY23).

Points to be noted:

i.India’s wheat reserves have also fallen to a 15-year low of 26.6 million tonnes (MT) In August 2022.

ii.As per estimates, the domestic wheat stock to be around 22. 9 MT by October 1, 2022 against the buffer norm of 20.5 MT.

iii.The government has also replaced 5.5 million tonnes of wheat with rice in Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), while 6.1 million tonnes of wheat have been replaced by rice under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

iv.According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (UN FAO), in 2019, after China (133.6 MT) and India (103.6 MT), Russia was the third-largest wheat producer globally (74.5 million tonnes) while Ukraine ranked seventh (28.4 MT).

Central Govt amends the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011 for the Garment or Hosiery sold in loose or open

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution exempted the garment or hosiery industry selling garment or hosiery items in loose or open by amending the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 with Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) (Third Amendment) Rules, 2022.

  • This decision followed the various representations received by DCA for exempting the garment or hosiery sold in loose or open at the point of sale.
  • This will result in ease of doing business and reducing the compliance burden to industries without compromising the interest of consumers by declaring the information relevant to consumers.

The Central Government has made this amendment in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1), read with clauses (j) and (q) of sub-section (2), of section 52 of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 (1 of 2010).

Now, this garment section is exempted from the following 6 declarations:

  1. Common/ generic name of the commodity
  2. Net quantity, in terms of the standard unit of weight(W) or measure(M) or no. of the commodity in the package
  3. Unit sale price
  4. Month and year of manufacture or pre-packing or import
  5. Best before or use by date, month and year  in case of commodity becoming unfit for human consumption with time
  6. Consumer Care name & address

Only the following information relevant to consumers is to be given:

  1. Consumer care email id and phone number,
  2. Sizes with internationally recognizable size indicators such as S, M, L, XL, XXL and XXXL along with details in metric notation in terms of cm or m and
  3. Maximum Retail Price (MRP)

Click Here for Official Notification

Recent Related News:

i.CCEA has approved ‘Deregulation of Sale of Domestically Produced Crude Oil’, whereby the Government has decided to cease allocation of crude oil and condensate w.e.f. October 1, 2022.

ii.The Union Cabinet has approved a Rs. 26,316 crore project for saturation of 4G mobile services in uncovered villages across India. The project will be carried out by BSNL using the 4G technology stack of Atmanirbhar Bharat and will be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund.

About Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution (MoCA, F&PD):

Union Minister– Piyush Goyal (Constituency- Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra)
Ministers of State (MoS)– Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Constituency- Buxar, Bihar); Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Constituency- Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh)