India seeking amendments to subsidy as it would hit food aid

India seeking amendments to subsidy as it would hit food aid
India on Friday said along with the G33 countries, it is seeking an amendments to the 10 percent subsidy cap of the WTO as it would hit the food aid programmes in the developing countries.

G33 countries are grouping of developing nations. The WTO's Agreement on Agriculture does not restrict public stockholding programme for food security purposes.

However, if foodgrain is acquired at administered prices and not at market rates, all such price support has to be kept within a limit of 10 percent of the value of production of the commodity in question.

"India, as part of a coalition of developing countries known as 'G33', has proposed an amendment to this cap that is a constraint to procurement and food aid programmes in developing countries," Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Sanjeev Kumar Balyan said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Last month, India has decided not to ratify the trade facilitation agreement, aimed at easing customs procedures, because the WTO members have not taken any step towards finding a permanent solution on the food subsidy issue of India.

During the WTO's Ministerial Conference in Bali last year, it was agreed by the members to put in place an interim mechanism and to negotiate for finding a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security purposes within four years.

"In the interim, until a permanent solution is found and subject to certain conditions, members will not be challenged in the WTO even if the support in respect of public stockholding programmes for food security purposes exceeds the limit of 10 per cent of the value of production in question," he said.


Read more about: subsidy, wto, g33 countries
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