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Sharma: No compromise on food security at WTO
November 29, 2013, 1:17 pm

Sharma said elements of the bill will undermine the competitiveness of Indian IT businesses in the US [AP]

The minister said India would secure and protect rights to food security of its poor people [AP]

India’s Trade and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said there would be no compromise on a flagship food subsidy programme at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meet in Bali next week.

The minister said India firmly supports a LDC (least developed countries) package.

“India has unilaterally given 96.2 per cent of India’s tariff line for LDC under Duty Free Quota Free,” said Sharma in New Delhi on Friday.

India has been demanding a balanced outcome from the Bali meet with the interests of the so-called least developed countries (LDCs) and developing nations at its core.

“India will defend rights of its resource poor and subsistence farmers. India will secure and protect right to food security of its poor people,” said Sharma.

The south Asian nation is implementing an ambitious food security plan. However, it has found itself at odds with the WTO norms on food subsidy limits.

New Delhi has said that a group of 33 countries were supporting India’s stand on the food subsidy programme which Sharma said was “sacrosanct, non-negotiable.”

Sharma will lead the Indian delegation to Bali for the ministerial meet which will try to work out an agreement to streamline customs procedures and speed up global trade.

The International Chamber of Commerce says the deal would add $960 billion to the world economy.

Source: Agencies