India to oppose premature conclusion of Doha talks at G-20 trade ministers meet

G20 trade minsiters meet

In an attempt to prevent a premature conclusion of the Doha round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks, India is all set to speak out against the attempt by developed countries to conclude the talks at the upcoming G-20 trade ministers meet in Istanbul. India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is also set to reject the idea of US denying concessions to countries like China and India that are to be extended to the developing nations at the WTO.

India believes that the developed countries plan to somehow conclude the Doha round by getting certain issues that also favour them off the ground while closing the other issues. Once the developmental issues are out of the way, the developed countries would move on to other issues that suit their interests such as competition policy, investment issues, labour, environment and e-commerce, that are not part of the Doha agenda. India is exploring options to stop this from happening.

In a recent paper circulated at the WTO, the US had called for members to avoid using minimum support prices and input subsidies for farm products, which happens to be the main source of India’s support to its farmers. India will push for the right to raise tariffs on farm goods if flooding of such imports or fall in their prices threaten the livelihood of its poor farmers. India is also expected to take up the issue of Indian farmers in the overall context of India’s food security concerns ahead of a high-level WTO meeting in December.

India is keen on pushing for safeguard provisions. The provisions are available to 39 countries at the moment. The US proposal of dismantling input subsidies, given by developing countries to its farmers, could deal a huge blow to India’s efforts to secure a permanent solution for its food security problems.

Besides stressing on its food security concerns ahead of the high-level World Trade Organisation meeting in December, India is likely to pitch for a special package for the least developed countries to assist them to comply with the WTO’s trade facilitation deal at the two-day meeting in Istanbul