India imposes port restrictions on supply of prohibited/restricted export items to Maldives

News Excerpt:

Amid tensions between Maldives and India, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade  issued a notification imposing port restrictions for export of essential commodities to the island nation during the fiscal year 2024-25.

More about News: 

  • India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has introduced port restrictions on the export of several prohibited and restricted essential items to the Maldives.
    • Export of essential commodities from India to the Maldives will now be permitted only through four customs stations
      • Mundra Sea Port, Tuticorin Sea Port, Nhava Sheva Sea Port (JNPT), and ICD Tughlakabad.
  • On April 5, 2024, India gave authorization for the export of specific quantities of essential goods to the Maldives for 2024-25 using a bilateral mechanism, at the request of the Maldives government.
  • Earlier, on April 5, India had removed restrictions on the export of nine products including -
    • potatoes, onions, eggs, rice, wheat flour, and sugar, to the Maldives for 2024-25.
  • The approved volumes under this bilateral agreement are the highest 
    • since the trade deal between India and the Maldives was signed in 1981, allowing for the export of essential goods.
  • The quota for river sand and stone aggregates, crucial for the construction industry in the Maldives, was increased by 25% to 1,000 metric tons.
  • India had implemented export bans on wheat in May 2022, non-basmati rice in July 2023, and onions in December, 
    • Despite this, India selectively supplied these commodities to neighboring countries like 
      • Bangladesh and key partners such as the UAE and Indonesia based on specific cases, prioritising domestic needs.
  • The Maldives intends to reduce its dependence on any one country for food security, 
    • The withdrawal of all Indian troops stationed in the country is underway and will be completed by May 10, 2024.

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)

  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade is a government organization in India responsible for the formulation of export-import guidelines and principles for indian importers and indian exporters of the country. 
  • Before 1991, DGFT was known as the Chief Controller of Imports & Exports (CCI&E).
  • The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) organisation is an attached office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and is headed by the Director General of Foreign Trade.
  • When liberalization in the economic policies of the Government took place, this organization was essentially involved in the regulation and promotion of foreign trade through regulation. 
  • DGFT has since been assigned the role of "facilitator".
  • There are four Zonal Offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai headed by Additional Director General of Foreign Trade. 
  • There are 24 Regional Authorities (RAs) all over the country.


  • To provide a stable and sustainable policy environment for foreign trade in merchandise and services
  • To link rules, procedures and incentives for exports and imports with other initiatives such as “Make in India”, “Digital India” and “Skills India” to create an “Export Promotion Mission” for India
  • To promote the diversification of India’s export basket by helping various sectors of the Indian economy to gain global competitiveness with a view to promoting exports.
  • To create an architecture for India’s global trade engagement with a view to expanding its markets and better integrating with major regions, thereby increasing the demand for
  • India’s products and contributing to the government’s flagship “Make in India”initiative
  • To provide a mechanism for regular appraisal in order to rationalize imports and reduce the trade imbalance.

Related News: India - Maldives Relationship

Book A Free Counseling Session