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India imposes port restrictions on export of essential commodities to Maldives

National flag of India and Maldives (File Photo)

India has imposed port restrictions on the export of prohibited or restricted essential commodities that were recently allowed to be shipped to Maldives, according to a notification from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Export of essential commodities to the island nation shall be permitted only through the following four customs stations: Mundra Sea Port, Tuticorin Sea Port, Nhava Sheva Sea Port, and ICD Tughlakabad, the DGFT said in the notification.

On April 5, amid the India-Maldives diplomatic row, India allowed the export of certain quantities of essential commodities for 2024-25 under a unique bilateral mechanism, at the request of the Maldives government.

Following is a table featuring the names of essential commodities with quantity allowed to be shipped out:

Notably, the approved quantities are the highest since this bilateral arrangement came into effect in 1981. India and Maldives signed a trade agreement in 1981, which provides for the export of essential commodities.

The quota for river sand and stone aggregates, crucial items for the booming construction industry in the Maldives, has been increased by 25 per cent to 1,000,000 metric tonnes.

There has also been an increase of 5 per cent in the quotas for eggs, potatoes, onions, sugar, rice, wheat flour and dal (pulses).

Moreover, last year, India continued to export rice, sugar and onions to the Maldives despite a worldwide ban on the export of these items from India.

“India remains strongly committed to supporting human-centric development in the Maldives, as part of its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy,” the statement by the Indian High Commission in Maldives then stated.

Notably, ties between India and the Maldives have been strained since President Muizzu assumed office, as he criticised New Delhi during and after the presidential polls.