Friday, March 31, 2023

India to be firm on food security at Bali meet


New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) India Sunday gave a clear signal that it will be firm on the core agenda of food security while pursuing a constructive dialogue at the ministerial conference of World Trade Organization (WTO) at Bali Dec 3-6.

An official release said Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, who is leading a 30-member delegation for the ninth ministerial conference of WTO, would unequivocally convey to his interlocutors that India’s concerns on food security were non-negotiable.

Sharma is likely to raise the issue of the subsistence farmers of India strongly at the G-33 meeting being convened Monday at Bali ahead of the conference.

The release said Sharma will underscore the need to have a fair and balanced outcome, which addresses the concerns of developing countries adequately, especially so on food security.

“India’s public stockholding programme for public distribution system cannot be compromised for minor gains of the developed countries,” the release said.

Sharma has indicated that India will be firm on the core agenda of food security, while being persuasive and constructive, it said.

Sharma is also likely to underscore India’s commitment for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) agenda where it has taken a unilateral decision for zero duty access covering 96.2 percent of tariff lines.

“India will demonstrate its constructive engagement, as it has unequivocally endorsed three out of the five issues under consideration of the WTO – LDC issues, tariff rate quota and export competition,” the release said.

Sharma will pitch for a balanced outcome which addresses India’s food security concerns “in spite of the strong head winds in Bali with the developed countries likely to oppose a lasting agreement on food security”.

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