INDIA TO DEMAND ENHANCED MARKET ACCESS FOR FARMERS AT WTO MEETING
Date : 04 Dec 2000
Location : New Delhi
India proposes to seek enhanced market access opportunities for its farmers by demanding a substantial reduction in the tariffs, elimination of export subsidies and substantial reduction in domestic support by the developed countries while also demanding sufficient flexibility under Agreement to Agriculture to take care of its food security and livelihood concerns at the WTO negotiations on Agriculture, Shri Omar Abdullah, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today. The mandated negotiations under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture are being conducted through the Special Sessions of the WTO Committee on Agriculture. The next special session of the WTO Committee on Agriculture is scheduled in February 2001, wherein the various proposals submitted by the member countries are likely to come up for discussion.
India has co-sponsored its first proposal of "Market Access", along with 11 other developing countries in the special session of the WTO Committee on Agriculture held in September 2000. In this paper, trade distortions prevalent in international markets and the consequent hindrance to the exports from the developing countries have been highlighted. It has been proposed that developed countries should effect substantial reductions in their tariffs and eliminate tariff peaks and tariff escalations. It has also been demanded that the administration of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) should be made transparent and equitable for all trading partners with regular enhancement of TRQs to improve market access for all developing countries. Other proposals include elimination of all forms of trade distorting export subsidies and substantial reductions in the domestic support provided by developed countries; prohibition of dumping; and effecting suitable modifications in the provisions of the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, which inhibit the ability of developing countries to export agricultural products.