New Delhi, May 21 (PTI) India on Saturday said it would try to extend assistance to countries which are vulnerable to the risk of food security, days after it imposed restrictions on the export of wheat.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra indicated that the decision was driven by the need for food security within India but added that New Delhi was ready to support the countries which need its assistance.

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"We have been extremely clear that the principle and the needs of food security in India are paramount for us. Yet at the same time, we have also been very careful and calibrated in ensuring that the needs of the economies that are vulnerable to the risk of the food security wherever possible are met," he said at a media briefing.

India, one of the top wheat producers globally, banned wheat exports in a bid to check high domestic prices amid concerns of wheat output being hit by scorching heat waves.

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There has been some criticism over India's decision to ban the export of wheat.

"We also would need to respond also to the large segment of the speculative global aspects which go into the entire trade of the food commodities. I think our position on wheat in that sense in terms of the externalities of a particular commodity that you looked at, I think are very clear," Kwatra said.

"They flow from the principle of food security but they are also acutely conscious that whenever the needs of the other vulnerable countries are concerned, to the extent possible and to the best of our ability, we would definitely try and meet them to that extent," he said.

He was responding to a question on the matter at the media briefing.

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