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India allowing exports of essential goods to Maldives despite strained ties

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NEW DELHI : India has allowed limited exports of essential commodities, including sugar, wheat, rice, and onions, to the Maldives, the government said on Friday, even as ties between Male and New Delhi remained tense amid rising Chinese influence.

India, a leading exporter of rice, sugar and onions, has imposed various curbs on exports of these food commodities to keep a lid on local prices ahead of general election.

Shipments of these commodities in the 2024/25 finiancial year which started on April 1 to Maldives “will be exempted from any existing or future restriction/prohibition on export,” the government said in a notification.

The South Asian country has allowed exports 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.

The Maldives, which has traditionally had close ties to India, is pivoting towards Beijing since new President Mohamed Muizzu was elected in October on a promise to end the country’s pro-India stance.

The DGFT announced that exports of 1 million tons each of stone aggregate and river sand, items like eggs, potatoes, onions, rice, wheat flour, sugar, dal, stone aggregate, and river sand can now be exported to the Maldives as per the bilateral trade agreement for 2024-25

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