BJP MPs to broadcast govt's WTO stand

BJP MPs to broadcast govt's WTO stand

With an eye on the Assembly elections, the BJP wants to capitalise on the stand the government took at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) owing to concerns on food security. 

BJP MPs have been tasked with spreading a message in the electorate that the Narendra Modi government stood by farmers despite pressure from developed economies to sign the global trade treaty. 

At the parliamentary party meeting attended by the prime minister, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley informed the MPs that the government is voicing the concerns of the country’s farmers at various international fora. 

Jaitley said that the government will not allow global players to determine the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers as at times it is higher than the 10 per cent of production value cap on domestic support proposed at the WTO. The subsidy beyond the proposed cap is construed as trade-distorting under WTO rules.  

The finance minister also told members that the government preferred to go ahead with the trade facilitation agreement only after categorical assurance on public stockholding of food grain, procurement of food grain and a public distribution system. These are essential to run the food security scheme, he added.   

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