India seeks Africa’s help in WTO

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 21, 2014 Published on August 21, 2014

WTO rules on food procurement subsidies could affect 21 countries: Commerce Secretary

India has sought cooperation of African countries to push for a pact on food security at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) when meetings re-convene in Geneva next month.

Reaching out to the representatives of Regional Economic Communities in Africa currently visiting India, Commerce Secretary Rajiv Kher pointed out that there were 21 countries in the world using public stockholding for food security purposes that could get affected by the existing rules on subsidies, according to a press statement from industry body CII.

Kher was addressing the African countries groupings at a meeting organised by CII on Thursday evening.

Trade distorting

The WTO places a cap of 10 per cent (of value of agriculture production) on agriculture subsidies that it considers as trade distorting. New Delhi wants the WTO should to all subsidies given for procuring food from the poor as non-trade distorting subsidies not subjected to caps. Kher informed the African delegates that India had already amended its duty free-quota free market access scheme for African nations to allow their products to the Indian market at either zero duty or lower duty rates.

Published on August 21, 2014
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