As per sources, it has been reported in Business Standard that the Government of India is planning to strike oil for food exchange deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries under which it is keen on increasing the exports of basmati rice and wheat to the GCC countries. It has also been narrated that talks in this regard is in process with 2-3 GCC countries to ensure our oil security and at the same time they also want to ensure their food security too. The discussions are being held at the senior leadership level as quoted by the Minister for Oil, Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Further, it has been revealed that India imports nearly two-thirds of its crude oil requirements from the GCC region and among the GCC nations; the UAE is a major importer of Indian rice. It has been mentioned that the UAE was the sixth largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2014-15.While, India exported around 278,601 tons of basmati rice to the UAE in the FY 2014-15 (April – March) and about 411,775 tons in the first eight months of FY 2015-16. The government is very much keen on increasing the current volume of bilateral trade by 60% in the next five years.