India calls for fair and equitable Doha deal

“Such an engagement would actually be a catalyst for the combined international effort to break free from the economic crisis,’ Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said while addressing a meeting on WTO issues organized by the FICCI here.

“There have been some demands of late for a new approach to the negotiations, one that skips the modalities stage and moves straight to notifying individual member commitments. This is not acceptable to India and the majority of the WTO members. There must first be agreement on modalities,” he asserted.

While pointing out that India remained committed to the Doha Development Round of negotiations, Sharma indicated that to impart the necessary impetus India would host an informal ministerial meeting  in September this year.

He said that full-fledged negotiations were likely to resume in September this year.
However, a quick closure was unlikely given the large number of unresolved issues.

He was emphatic in stating that developing country concerns on food and livelihood security of their poor and vulnerable farming community and adequate protection of their vulnerable industrial sector must be addressed in the current round.

In the agriculture negotiations, he said, India places a high priority to a substantial and effective reduction in domestic support and tariffs on agriculture products by the developed countries and sufficient flexibilities for developing countries to protect and promote the interests of their low income and resource poor farmers.

“For years, international agricultural trade and production has been distorted by the large subsidies provided by the rich developed countries to their farmers,” Sharma said.

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