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India to decide on assent to Bali trade deal on Wednesday
July 22, 2014, 4:47 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]

India’s approach towards the post-Bali talks work programme of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be decided on Wednesday at a Cabinet ministers meet headed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A landmark global trade pact, the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the WTO will come into force from July 2015 and New Delhi has to decide on whether it wants to be signatory to the protocol. The WTO trade pact could add $1 trillion to the global economy.

India has criticised the pact for not addressing its concerns of food security. New Delhi has a huge program for stockpiling food to feed its poor. The $20 billion scheme to distribute subsidised wheat and rice to 800 million people, backing an anti-malnutrition drive was implemented by the previous Indian government.

The current WTO norms limit the value of food subsidies at 10% of the value of foodgrain production.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Indian Food Minister informed lawmakers in Parliament that there is no proposal to amend the landmark food security law at present.

“There is no proposal to amend the National Food Security Act, 2013, at present,” Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs Raosaheb Patil Danve said in a written reply to the lower house of the Indian Parliament on Tuesday.

India has maintained that its concerns on food stock piles should be addressed along with trade facilitation.

“The way things are moving, there is no way we can agree to the trade facilitation agreement being pushed by the developed nations at WTO within the prescribed deadline. Food security has always been India’s main concern and this time we are not going to concede,” an Indian official told Indian daily Business Standard.

 

TBP and Agencies

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