Cabinet nod for India's stance on food security at WTO

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its ex-post facto approval for the approach adopted by India at the 10th ministerial conference of the WTO held in December.

The outcomes of the conference, referred to as the ‘Nairobi Package’ include ministerial decisions on agriculture, cotton and issues related to least developed countries (LDCs).

These cover a special safeguard mechanism (SSM) for developing countries, public stockholding for food security purposes, a commitment to abolish export subsidies for farm exports.

Decisions were also made regarding preferential treatment to LDCs in the area of services and the criteria for determining whether exports from LDCs may benefit from trade preferences. A ministerial declaration was also adopted at the meeting.

“In view of the reluctance of developed countries to agree to continue the Doha Development Agenda post-Nairobi, India negotiated and secured a re-affirmative ministerial decision on public stockholding for food security purposes honouring both the Bali ministerial and general council decisions. The decision commits members to engage constructively in finding a permanent solution to this issue,” an official statement said after the meeting.

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