Confident WTO will understand its food security concerns: India

Tags: News
India is confident that it will be able to persuade members of the 160-strong World Trade Organisation to understand its concerns over food security which derailed a global trade deal last week, the country's trade minister said.

Nirmala Sitharaman told parliament that the Bali trade accord, an agreement reached on the Indonesian tourist island last year, should be concluded as a package, linking India's ratification of a trade facilitation treaty to movement on a parallel treaty on stockpiling of food.

"I am confident that India will be able to persuade the WTO membership to appreciate the sensitivities of India and other developing countries and see their way to take this issue forward in a positive spirit," she said amid thumping of desks by lawmakers.

India's new national government vetoed the adoption of a treaty to simplify, standardise and streamline the rules for shipping goods across borders, having previously agreed to its terms at the ministerial conference in Bali last December.

After drawing widespread condemnation, India has since said it is ready to sign the global trade deal as early as next month if other World Trade Organisation members agree to its demand for concessions on food subsidies, estimated at $12 billion a year.

"India is not standing in way of implementation of Trade Facilitation but seeking equal level of commitment and progress in working on the issue of public stockholding," Sitharaman said.

"A permanent solution on food security is a must for us and we cannot wait endlessly in state of uncertainty while WTO engages in an academic debate on subject of food security," she said.

India fears that once it agrees to trade facilitation - largely seen to help advanced nations - it would have lost the bargaining chip on the subsidy issue.

Post new comment

E-mail ID will not be published
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY

  • The NDA government would do well to keep its economic focus in place

    It is as if the worst horrors conjured by liberal secularists about India’s prime minister could be finally coming true.

FC NEWSLETTER

Stay informed on our latest news!

INTERVIEWS

GV Nageswara Rao

MD & CEO, IDBI Federal Life

Timothy Moe

Goldman Sachs

Chander Mohan Sethi

CMD, Reckitt Benckiser India

COLUMNIST

Taslima Nasrin

Religious conversion as fundamental right

Tricks and treats, coercion, threats, manhandling and extermination are the ...

Purnendu Ghosh

Does speed liberate or enslave humans?

Speed is the reflection of modernity and modernisation. Speed is ...

Shona Adhikari

Why Indian art auctions are here to stay

With Christie’s second India sale just over in Mumbai, we ...

INTERVIEWS

William D. Green

Chairman & CEO, Accenture