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WTO talks: India blasts top-ups

business Updated: May 25, 2011 21:22 IST

A day ahead of a WTO informal ministerial meeting at Paris, India on Wednesday said it will not accept attempts by developed countries to shift goal posts of the Doha mandate that calls for an equitable global trade deal.

Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, who would push for protecting the gains already achieved during 10 years of negotiations, said after taking aggressive cuts in tariff rates under the Swiss Formula, it would be difficult for emerging economies to accept “top-ups” which are sought to be made mandatory.

Also opposing any rush into completing the Doha multilateral negotiating round, New Delhi said that the developed countries are seeking to put more demands on the developing nations for market opening. It said progress already made must be protected.

“India views such an attempt to shift goal posts as unacceptable and as a violation of the mandate,” Sharma said.

The meeting, which has been convened by Australia, is likely to be attended by ministers from European Union, the US, China and Japan. “Developed countries must appreciate our sensitivities, our autonomous liberalisation, the development dimension and the impact on our local industries” in case the developing countries commit to slash import duties, Sharma said.