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Cancun meet: India reacts strongly to draft ministerial text news
Our Economy Bureau
15 September 2003

Cancun: India has reacted strongly to the Draft Cancun Ministerial Text as it has "bypassed the country''s concerns on a range of issues like agriculture and Singapore issues such as investment and competition and non-agricultural products access."

Commerce and Industry Minister Arun Jaitley said: "In agriculture, not only are the distortions prevalent today being perpetuated, but a slew of new measures to increase such distortions are being proposed."

He also said the heightened ambition on market access, which ironically provides for special and differential treatment in favour of developed countries, is "utterly incomprehensible and extremely insensitive to the large number of people living in poverty in the developing countries. The revised text has arbitrarily disregarded the views and concerns expressed by us."

The seven-page draft with five annexes allows developed countries to maintain or even increase domestic support and avoid eliminating export subsidies and credits, while imposing even stiffer cuts on developing countries and providing less S&D treatment to them.

On domestic support, developed countries will be able to retain their high subsidies and raise them as the blue box category continues to be maintained, while there is no assurance that the green box will be adequately disciplined.

On market access, the blended formula for developed countries, originally sought by the EU-US, remains which enables them to place their high-tariff items in a category for lower tariff cuts and thus avert removing tariff peaks which thwart developing country export products.


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Cancun meet: India reacts strongly to draft ministerial text