Policy

India not to be part of extended IT pact of select WTO members

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 10, 2013




India will not be party to the second instalment of the IT agreement that a number of World Trade Organisation members are negotiating as it would lead to zero import tariffs on a number of sensitive electronic and consumer products including mobile phones, i-pads, washing machines and refrigerators.

It is also not willing to commit to other plurilateral or select-group agreements being pushed by developed countries that include the services agreement and the environmental goods agreement, a Government official has said.

New Delhi would be part of the trade facilitation agreement that seeks to upgrade infrastructure at ports and customs stations on its own terms, the official added.

“The developed countries including the EU and the US are trying to cherry-pick areas where they want to have plurilateral agreements totally by-passing the Doha round so that they can have some early gains. We are fighting against it,” the official said.

Developed nations are trying to use the next ministerial meeting of the WTO scheduled in December in Bali to sign a number of plurilateral agreements as the on-going Doha round of talks has not reaped results.

India said that it had lost heavily after signing the first instalment of the IT agreement that involved eliminating duties 217 items like parts of microscope, semi-conductor equipment, spraying appliances and still image video cameras.

“It was China that gained from the first round. We have learnt the hard way and are certainly not going to do anything that will harm our domestic industry,” the official added.

>amiti.sen@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 10, 2013

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