India allows exports of essential goods to help Maldives despite soured ties

New Delhi:  India on Friday allowed limited exports of essential goods including sugar, wheat, rice, onions and eggs to the Maldives as a goodwill gesture amid soured ties with the neighbouring country which has suddenly shown a marked tilt towards China under its new government.

India had imposed restrictions on the export of these food products in order to control domestic inflation. However, it has kept a window open for limited exports of these goods to help friendly countries in dire need.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification provides for the export of 124,218 metric tons of rice, 109,162 tons of wheat flour, 64,494 tons of sugar, 21,513 metric tons of potatoes, 35,749 tons of onions, and 427.5 million eggs to the Maldives.

Apart from it, India has also allowed exports of 1 million tons each of stone aggregate and river sand used as construction material.

The notification says that the export of these items to Maldives will be exempted from any existing or future restriction or prohibition during 2024-25.

The Maldives, which has had close diplomatic relations with India over the years, has been trying to distance itself from India and moving closer to China after President Mohamed Muizzu came to power in October.

However, the Muizzu government has recently also tried to seek concessions on loan repayments from India, which reflects the Indian Ocean archipelago’s dependence on its larger neighbour.

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