labels: economy - general, world trade organisation
Pranab flays West's WTO stance on farm subsidiesnews
28 September 2006
Mumbai: India has rejected developed countries' demand for increased market access for their subsidised farm products and called for immediate resumption of global trade negotiations. India also said the developed countries' demand for greater market access is a threat to its indigent farmers.

"Early resumption is desirable but adherence to the existing mandate is imperative... Demanding market access from developing countries, which displace low-income and subsistence farmers to satisfy commercial interests, cannot be supported," defence minister Pranab Mukherjee told the UN General Assembly.

He said when agriculture was brought into the ambit of WTO talks, developing nations were expecting the West to phase out trade distorting farm subsidies at least in a time-bound manner. "Minimising the vulnerabilities of the poor farmers must be our collective priority, " he said.

Considering the hopes raised in the Hong Kong ministerial and the G-8 summit in Russia earlier this year, he said the impasse in international trade negotiations was 'disappointing' to say the least. "The overarching principle of special and differential treatment remains the cateogrical imperative and is the underlying basis of the position of developing countries," he added.

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Pranab flays West's WTO stance on farm subsidies