India approves highest-ever export quotas for essential commodities to Maldives

April 22, 2020: Photo shows a worker transporting a sack of onions in the market area of Male' City.

India has approved highest-ever export quotas for essential commodities to Maldives for the year 2024-25, including eggs, wheat flour and onions, as well as river sand and stone aggregates.

In a statement on Friday, the Indian High Commission said the quota for export of essential commodities was renewed at the request of the Maldivian government.

“The approved quantities are the highest since this arrangement came into effect in 1981,” reads the statement.

The quota for river sand and stone aggregates, crucial items for the booming construction industry in the Maldives, have been increased by 1,000,000 MT. There has also been an increase of 5 percent in the quotas for eggs, potatoes, onions, sugar, rice, wheat flour and dal (pulses).

The export quota approved for 2024-25:

  • Eggs: 427,536,904.20
  • Potatoes: 21,513.08 MT
  • Onions: 35,749.13 MT
  • Rice: 124,218.36 MT
  • Wheat flour: 109,162.96 MT
  • Sugar: 64,494.33 MT
  • Dal: 224.48 MT
  • Stone aggregate: 1,000,000 MT
  • River sand: 1,000,000 MT

Despite global restrictions on the export of rice, sugar, and onions from India last year, New Delhi continued to provide these crucial commodities to the Maldives.

The high commission said the move underlines India’s strong committed to supporting human centric development in the Maldives, as part of its ‘Neighborhood First’ policy.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer on early Saturday said India’s gesture to renew the quota to allow the export of certain quantities of essential commodities signifies the longstanding bilateral friendship, and the commitment to further expand trade and commerce.

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar (L) with Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer (R). (Photo/Foreign Ministry)

“I sincerely thank EAM @DrSJaishankar and the Government of #India for the renewal of the quota to enable #Maldives to import essential commodities from India during the years 2024 and 2025. The newly approved quantities of essentials have been increased under the unique bilateral mechanism between the two countries, even as ties between Male and New Delhi remained tense in recent months,” Zameer said in a post on X.

His Indian counterpart, Dr. S. Jaishankar, responded that “India stands firmly committed to its Neighborhood First and SAGAR policies.”