Discussion in World Trade Organization on welfare of agricultural sector
New Delhi (Dec. 10, 2014): The focus of the ongoing Doha Round of trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization is ‘development’. The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) envisages disciplines on and reductions in trade-distorting agricultural subsidies with special and differential treatment for developing countries. At a Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Bali, Indonesia in December 2013, decisions were taken on some of the issues in the DDA. Decisions in the area of agriculture relate to public stockholding for food security purposes, agricultural quotas, export competition and cotton.
India has since succeeded in getting a decision adopted by the WTO General Council on 27 November 2014 which makes it clear that a mechanism, under which WTO Members will not challenge the public stockholding programmes of developing country members for food security purposes, in relation to certain obligations under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, will remain in place in perpetuity until a permanent solution regarding this issue has been agreed and adopted. This strengthens the safeguard available for continuing the Minimum Support Price policy and will ensure that India’s food security operations are not constrained due to WTO rules.
This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.