The government on Thursday decided to lift four year-old ban on wheat exports but prohibited onion exports to control its rising prices .
The decision to open wheat exports was taken by the empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM) on food, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the wake of record production and storage problem.
"Wheat and non-basmati rice exports have been put under the Open General License (OGL)," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.
However, the foodgrains exports would be subject to a quantitative restrictions of two million tonnes each.
"We will stop export of wheat and non-basmati rice once shipments reaches two million tonnes each," Food Minister K V Thomas said.
Wheat exports was banned in early 2007 to augment buffer stock when the output had fallen.
While the ban on non-basmati rice exports was lifted in July after three years with a quantitative restrictions of one million tonnes, it was put on hold by the Delhi High Court following allegations of irregularities in quota allocation.
Thomas said that onion export has been banned and the situation would be reviewed every two weeks. Onion prices have risen to Rs 25 per kg in retail market from Rs 15 per kg a month ago on supply constraints.
Although food inflation is near the double digit, the prices of rice and wheat have remained stable and the government is grappling with storage problem on the back of record foodgrains production of 241.56 million tonnes.