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Agriculture central to WTO talks- India
December 2, 2013, 5:17 pm

Developed countries have proposed an interim solution of four-year ‘peace clause’ during which period India would not attract penalty even if the 10 per cent cap is broken [AP]

Developed countries have proposed an interim solution of four-year ‘peace clause’ during which period India would not attract penalty even if the 10 per cent cap is broken [AP]

On the eve of WTO Bali ministerial meeting, India on Monday said the interim solution on food security as currently designed is not acceptable and the country won’t compromise its farmers’ interests.

“We can no longer allow the interests of our farmers to be compromised at the altar of mercantilist ambitions of the rich. The Bali Ministerial Meeting is an opportunity for the developing countries to stay united in resolve to demonstrate the centrality of agriculture in trade talks,” said Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma.

Sharma is leading India’s delegation to Bali. He also argued that food security must be protected from all challenges in the WTO as it is not only a sensitive issue for India but also a critical social imperative.

In a strongly-worded statement at a meeting of the G-33 in Bali on the eve of the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, Sharma said that for decades, “handful of farm lobbies of some countries” have shaped the discourse and determined the destiny of millions of subsistence farmers of the developing countries.

Developed countries have proposed an interim solution of four-year ‘peace clause’ during which period India would not attract penalty even if the 10 per cent cap is broken.

WTO rules limit farm subsidies to 10 per cent of production.

India has raised issues regarding the way the cap value is benchmarked to the base price.

“The massive subsidisation of the farm sector in the developed countries is not even a subject matter of discussion, leave aside serious negotiations,” he said.

 

Source: Agencies

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