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India slams ‘misleading’ reports on slashed food quotas

The reduction is based on usage, India says.



India Monday slammed “misleading” reports on its decision to slash the export of essential goods to the Maldives.

In line with a 1981 bilateral trade deal, India annually fixes the quantities of potatoes, onions, rice, wheat flour, sugar, pulses and eggs allocated for export to the Maldives without any restrictions.

Last week India reduced the quotas by nearly 100 percent, amid strained ties between the two countries.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the reports were misleading.

“As highlighted in the recent notification by the Director General of Foreign Trade, the requirements are calculated based on actual utilisation in recent past and is consistent with the mechanism of the trade agreement signed between India and Maldives in 1981.

“India remains firmly committed to strong people to people ties between two countries and will ensure that people of Maldives do not have to endure any hardships.”

“This is not an arbitrary action that has been taken,” an official in the Central Board of Direct Taxes and Customs told The Hindu.

“India and Maldives have had a long-standing relationship and this is a continuation of that.

“Normally, they send us their requirement and we try to meet all of it. This time, we have not received the requirement and so we calculated the average of the last three years and have set that as the limit for this year.”

Photo: Mihaaru