India to tell WTO about protection to farmers from sudden surge in imports

India to tell WTO about protection to farmers from sudden surge in imports
Highlights

India will pitch for conclusion of Doha Round, permanent solution to the food security issue and protection to farmers from sudden surge in imports in the forthcoming meeting of the WTO at Nairobi this month.

New Delhi: India will pitch for conclusion of Doha Round, permanent solution to the food security issue and protection to farmers from sudden surge in imports in the forthcoming meeting of the WTO at Nairobi this month.

Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said that many developed countries want to "stonewall" the issues which are already on the table and want to introduce new ones. She said that there is an effort now to introduce new issues on the table and try to expand the mandate without addressing the issues, which are already under discussion.

India would focus on four main issues, including stock-piling for food security, at the WTO's Ministerial Conference to be held in Nairobi from December 15-18.

"What we are looking at Nairboi are...the Doha Round must not be abandoned at Nairobi. Its true that we have rough patches, there are difficulties. But it is inevitable in a body as large as this...What we would look for is to consolidate what we have achieved so far and then move forward. “The other issue is permanent solution on public stock-holding for food security. This is an issue which large number of countries have an interest," she said.

The Secretary said in the WTO's Bali meeting, peace clause was only an interim solution and "it is not a final outcome and certainly this issue remains on the table at present". The third issue, which is important for India and other developing countries, is protecting the interest of poor and subsistence farmers.

"The Doha Round did raise the expectation that there will be significant reduction in trade distorting subsidies and these would be achieved through negotiations. This is certainly which we will work towards. “It is not a secret that many of the developed countries do have the capacity to provide targeted subsidies to their agriculture sector and consequences of these targeted subsidies are felt by many people in developing countries," Teaotia said.
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