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India to continue supply of essential commodities to Maldives

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 10-05-2024
India to continue supply of essential commodities to Maldives Export 6 min read

The Indian government has allowed the export of essential commodities like potatoes, eggs, rice, wheat flour, sugar and dal to Maldives despite many of these items being in prohibited or restricted list. 

In a notification issued by the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on 5 April 2024, export of these commodities to the Maldives during 2024-25  is being allowed under a bilateral trade agreement between countries.

The DGFT said that these goods to be exported, will be exempted from "any existing or future restriction/prohibition during 2024-25".

India has allowed the export of these commodities despite a dip in the bilateral relationship between India and the Maldives after President Mohamed Muizzu, who is pro-China, came to power.

After coming to power President Mohamed Muizzu demanded that India recall its military personnel stationed in Maldives to operate surveillance aircraft. Without naming India, Muizzu has repeatedly said in recent weeks that he intended to reduce the Maldives' dependence on any one country for food security. 

Commodities to be Exported from India 

In 1981, India and Maldives signed a bilateral trade agreement which provided for the export of essential commodities from India to Maldives. 

This year, under its Neighbourhood First policy, India has agreed to allow the export of essential commodities to the Maldives despite many of the commodities being put on the restricted list or in the prohibited list.

The commodities which can be exported to Maldives are potatoes (21,513.08 tonnes), onions (35,749.13 tonnes), wheat flour (109,162.96 tonnes), rice (124,218.36 tonnes), sugar (64,494.33 tonnes), dal (224.48 tonnes), stone aggregate and river sand (both one million tonnes each).

The approved quantity to Maldives is the highest since the 1981 trade agreement between the two countries.

India banned wheat exports in May 2022 and exports of non- basmati rice in July 2023 to reduce prices in the domestic market. Similarly the export of Onion was banned in December 2023.However the government of India has allowed the export of these commodities on a case to case basis on the request of friendly countries. India has supplied rice, wheat and onions to countries such as Bangladesh, UAE, Bhutan,Mauritius and Indonesia.

Designated Custom Station for Export to Maldives 

The Director General of Foreign Trade has designated four customs stations through which prohibited/restricted commodities can be exported to Maldives. These designated four customs stations are 

  • Mundra Sea Port (Gujrat), 
  • Tuticorin Sea Port(Tamil Nadu),
  • Nhava Sheva Sea Port (JNPT) Mumbai, Maharashtra, and
  • Inland Container Depot, Tughlakabad, New Delhi.

What is a Restricted or prohibited item in Trade?

Goods which can be exported/imported as mentioned in the Foreign Trade Policy are kept in three categories,Open General List (OGL), Restricted and Prohibited List.

Open General List - Goods which are mentioned in the Open General List can be exported/  imported without the requirement of any license from the DGFT.

Restricted - It refers to those goods which can be imported/exported only with the prior permission of the DGFT. 

Prohibited -It refers to those goods that cannot be imported or exported from India.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is responsible  for implementing the Foreign Trade Policy of the government of India.


Maldives is an archipelago in the north-central Indian Ocean.It is a part of the South Asian region.

Maldives is an archipelago of coral atolls built up from the crowns of a submerged ancient volcanic mountain range. 

Eight-degree channels separate Maldives from Minicoy island of Lakshadweep.

All the islands are low-lying, none rising to more than 6 feet (1.8 metres) above sea level. Due to rising sea level,Maldives faces a danger of being submerged in the Indian ocean.

Capital: Male 



Answer: Maldives

Answer: 1981.

Answer: Mohamed Muizzu

Answer: Rufiyaa

Answer: Eight degree channels separate Maldives from Minicoy island of Lakshadweep.
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