India renews quota on sand, stone and essential food products for 3 years

Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj (L) arrives at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives for bilateral discussions with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid (R) on March 17, 2019. (Photo/Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The government of India has made the decision to renew the quota awarded to Maldives for essential commodities which include staple food products, river sand and stone aggregate for a period of three years.

The decision was announced on behalf the Indian government by Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, who is currently in Maldives on an official visit at the invitation of her Maldivian counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives reports the three-year quota period will begin on April 1.

The quota on essential commodities has not been renewed by India in two years. And the quota, in the past, has only been renewed for a one-year-period at a time.

The decision by India to renew the quota for three years is a reflection of reinforced ties between Maldives and India.

The quota applies to:

  • River sand
  • Stone aggregate
  • Rice
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Lentil
  • Onion
  • Potato

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives and Ministry of External Affairs of India, in a joint statement this Monday, said that both Swaraj and Shahid, during her bilateral talks, agreed to increase cooperation as a means promote the exchange of goods and services, culture, and people.

The Ministers also agreed on the need to boost private sector involvement, and agreed to hold the Maldives-India Business Forum in 2019.

Three key documents were signed between Maldives and India during Swaraj’s visit. They are:

  • Agreement on Exemption from Visa Requirement for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports;
  • Memorandum of Understanding regarding Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects through Local Bodies
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Collaboration in the Field of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.