NCP, AIADMK HAIL COALITION ON AGRICULTURE ISSUES IN WTO
Date : 22 Aug 2003
Location : New Delhi
Shri Sharad Pawar, leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shri P. G. Narayanan and Dr. V Saroja of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and other political parties have welcomed the joint proposal on agriculture presented to the WTO by a coalition of developing countries including India, China and 10 members of the Cairns Group as a positive development in the WTO negotiations. The NCP and AIADMK leaders were participating in a meeting convened by Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Law & Justice, here yesterday, as part of consultations with political parties in the run-up to the 5th Ministerial Conference of the WTO at Cancun in September, 2003. Representatives of some other political parties who attended the meeting were Shri K. Francis George, Kerala Congress, Shri Praful Patel, NCP and Shri R. S. Gavai, Republican Party of India.
Shri Jaitley briefed the MPs on issues in the ongoing WTO negotiations such as Agriculture, TRIPs and Public Health, Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Market Access and the 4 Singapore issues, including Investment.
The MPs were unanimous that the primary focus should be on safeguarding national interests in areas of concern to India. They suggested that in agriculture & non-agriculture market access, products of export interest to developing countries should be identified while considering tariff reduction formulae; the TRIPs and Public Health issue should be resolved; movement of natural persons should be pursued in the services negotiations and proposals for inclusion of investment in WTO should be resisted. They also expressed the view that the issue of non-tariff barriers affecting exports from developing countries should be taken up strongly in the WTO negotiations.
Earlier, Shri Jaitley also had a meeting with NDA partners on 18th August. The meeting was attended by Shri Arun Kumar Sarma, Assam Gana Parishad; Shri Dinesh Trivedi, All India Trinamool Congress; Shri P.C. Thomas, Indian Federal Democratic Party; Dr. C. Krishnan, MDMK; Shri S. Viduthalaivirumbi and Shri R. Shunmugasundaram of DMK; and Shri K. Yerran Naidu, TDP.