Skip to main content

Indian reason for not signing WTO TFA:millions of farmers' livelihood at stake

India refused to sign on WTO treaty  without a permanent solution on food subsidies, India's public stockholding programmes such a buffer stock of food-grains will be hampered by the present ceiling on subsidy to farmers.
"This is a good enough time to think about our follow up action. Obviously our proposal is there on the table and we will pursue our proposal," Rajeev Kher, commerce secretary told PTI.
Existing rules cap the value of food subsidies at 10% of the value of production. But the way the support is calculated at prices of more than two decades earlier means many countries would find it difficult to stay within the limit, potentially attracting strong penalties from the trade body.
This will affect India's food security programme and food grain procurement through the minimum support prices (MSP).
"The MSP policy acts as a means to keep farmers engaged in cultivation and if this comes into question, the livelihood of half of India's population would be in jeopardy. More than 90% of India's farmers are resource-poor, who own less than 10 hectares of unirrigated land," a source said.
According to Indian trade negotiators, developed countries have pressed for early adoption of the TFA that will give them enhanced market access but have avoided discussions on other issues.
India also made a strong pitch for deciding on a roadmap with clear timelines for different stages till finding a solution by December31, 2014 and reviewing the progress by the WTO's General Council in October this year.
Not opposed to TFA
"India has no problem implementing the TFA. However, given the resistance to taking forward other decisions, the concern is that once the TFA is implemented, none of the developed countries is likely to come back to the negotiating table to discuss the food subsidy issue or any of the other non-binding outcomes of the Bali ministerial conference," a top government official told HT, requesting anonymity.
Read: India's refusal to sign global trade pact sends confusing signal, Kerry tells Modi
According to the official, India is already close to breaching the permissible levels of subsidies for rice and wheat offered through the MSP driven food-grain procurement system. "The only way to force action on the other decisions was to slow down the implementation of the decision on trade facilitation and the only time to do it was before the General Council adopted the protocol of amendment," the official said.
"Once the TFA is implemented, India would have lost the bargaining space for an outcome on food security," the source said.
Back to the drawing boardAzevedo indicated that it was back to the drawing board for the WTO. "The fact we do not have a conclusion means that we are entering a new phase in our work - a phase which strikes me as being full of uncertainties," the WTO director general said.
"We have a natural hiatus in our calendar as people leave for the summer break in the coming days," he said. "So I invite you all to use this time to think carefully about what the next steps might be. I urge you to reflect long and hard on the ramifications of this setback." "I think we should take the time to reflect and come back in September."
This stance to brazen it out, however, carries the risk of pushing India into a corner if the WTO decides to adopt the TFA by a simple majority. Besides, pressure from developed countries could adversely affect bilateral trade ties.


Popular posts from this blog

Future of oil is bleak. By 2030, 95% of people may not own private cars which would wipe off the automobile industry

A futurist and clean energy expert, Toni Seba, has predicted that electric vehicles would destroy the global oil industry after a decade. By 2030, 95% of people won't own private cars which would wipe off the automobile industry, he says.

Boeing and JetBlue Airways have announced they would begin selling a hybrid-electric commuter aircraft by 2022. Planned by start-up Zunum Aero, the small plane would seat up to 12 passengers and reduce travel time and cost of trips under 1,600 km.


Can Herbalife 'Afresh' cause insomnia(sleeplessness) and heart problems?

Here is another "great" product from Herbalife. Marketed as an ENERGY drink mix. Few people know it contains Gurana seeds which have no active compound giving artificial energy other than caffeine. Afresh also contains additional caffeine

Ingredients of Herbalife Afresh Energy Drink Mix:
Maltodextrin, Orange Pekoe Extract, Guarana Seed Extract, Acidity Regulator - 330 and Caffeine Powder.

Side effect include insomnia, sleeplessness and heart problems, It is especially harmful for people with High blood pressure.

PPF interest rate cut to 7.9% but are other investment options better? Here's a comparison

The Public Provident Fund (PPF) will now offer 7.9% but experts say it is still a good option for investors. Given that consumer inflation is down to 3.65%, the real rate of return of the PPF is a healthy 4.25%. 

"This is quite impressive for an option that offers assured returns," says Amol Joshi, Founder, PlanRupee Investment Service. "Investors should continue to take advantage of this long-term tax-free product," he adds. 

Even if you compare the PPF rate with the 10-year government bond yield, the scheme is attractive. "The 10-year bond yield is a better benchmark for PPF than consumer inflation," says Manoj Nagpal, CEO, Outlook Asia Capital
Currently, the 10-year bond yield is around 6.8% and the PPF at 7.9% makes it for a premium of 110 basis points. "Historically, the average premium has been around 75 bps. So, the PPF investor is today earning a higher real return," says Nagpal. Even so, some investors may be feeling disappointed by the cu…