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India to defend farmers’ interest against developed countries at WTO

business Updated: Oct 22, 2015 23:16 IST
Timsy Jaipuria
Timsy Jaipuria
Hindustan Times
Indian farmers

India has decided to stay firm when it comes to protecting the interest of the farmers of the country against the World Trade Organisations regulations. (HT Photo)

In a power-packed meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has decided to stay firm when it comes to protecting the interest of the farmers of the country.

According to sources, the meeting was called to review India’s position at upcoming WTO’s Nairobi ministerial in December. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman and senior bureaucrats, including principle secretary to the PM Nripendra Misra, commerce secretary Rita Teaotia and chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, were among those present.

“PM Modi clearly pointed out that India should stand firm against the developed economies such as United States, which continues to oppose credible and developmental outcomes,” a source familiar with the developments said. India has been pressing hard at the WTO for a special safeguard mechanism and a permanent solution for public stockholding programmes for food security.

“PM wants India to fight the pitch of developed nations that wants to kill the DDA (Doha Development Agenda) while pursuing unresolved issues in agriculture and areas outside the DDA. If allowed this would imply that India would have to phase out the agriculture input subsidies such as fertiliser, power etc and also not to set a minimum support price. PM is strongly opposing any such approach,” another senior official from commerce ministry said.