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US `not serious' on farm subsidies cut

Our Bureau

New Delhi , March 19

THE US is not taking the issue of bringing down agricultural subsidies seriously and agricultural subsidies in India are likely to remain. The Union Minister for Disinvestment and Communication, Mr Arun Shourie, indicated this here on Friday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a plenary session of the American Chamber of Commerce in India, Mr Shourie said that the US continues to subsidise its cotton farmers as a result of which four African countries are suffering. "They subsidise $3 billion for a very small percentage of the population for what they call political compulsions," he said, and added, "as if we don't have political compulsions or what?"

He said "the fact that our subsidies are much less than theirs and two-third of our population is dependent on agriculture have been explained to the US."

"They are not serious though they know the matter," he said, when asked to comment on the US Ambassador, Mr David Mulford's statement calling India as one of the "most closed" economies in the world, and added that "let him talk of their subsidies."

The Minister said that the US had been appraised of India's concerns several times during the past year at Cancun and Tokyo round of trade negotiations.

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US `not serious' on farm subsidies cut

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