Economy

Guatemala files complaint over India’s sugar subsidies

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on March 25, 2019 Published on March 25, 2019

Guatemala has initiated a new dispute complaint against India’s sugar subsidies at the World Trade Organization (WTO) just days after Brazil and Australia lodged their separate complaints on the matter.

“Guatemala has requested WTO dispute consultations with India regarding domestic support measures and alleged export subsidies provided by India to producers of sugarcane and sugar. The request was circulated to WTO members on March 25,” according to a WTO official.

Guatemala claims that the domestic support measures are inconsistent with India’s obligations under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), while the alleged export subsidies are inconsistent with India’s obligations under the AoA and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement).

India will now have to hold separate consultations with Australia, Brazil and Guatemala to listen to their concerns and explain its position.

If the complainants are not satisfied by the explanations, they could ask for the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to decide on the matter.

India had earlier defended its position at the WTO in informal discussions by explaining that most of its subsidies to sugar producers were in the form of production subsidies that was permissible under the WTO.

The subsidies to exporters given for exports was for transportation and marketing purposes which, too, was permitted by the WTO, it had further explained.

Those complaining against the Indian subsidies, however, say that it distorts global markets.

The EU, Thailand and Costa Rica had expressed their interest in participating in the consultations requested by Australia and Brazil with India as they were interested parties.

Published on March 25, 2019

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Sincerely,

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.