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India should not be singled out on export subsidies, says Suresh Prabhu

Without taking any names, trade minister Suresh Prabhu also said some countries have exceeded the $1,000 per capita limit but are not being subjected to any regulation.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2018 22:48 IST
Asit Ranjan Mishra
Asit Ranjan Mishra
New Delhi, Livemint
Suresh Prabhu,Export subsidies,World Trade Organization
File photo of trade minister Suresh Prabhu. (Livemint photo )

A day after the US dragged India to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over its export subsidy programmes, trade minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said India should not be singled out just because it is growing faster, and should be given a chance to phase out export subsidies over a period of eight years, as was the case with other countries.

Speaking at the Rising India Summit, Prabhu said India follows all international norms in letter and spirit. “We will follow the international obligations but obligations should also be such that they take into consideration the reality of the situation. So if you have given it to somebody else, you must give it to India,” he said.

Under the special and differential provisions of the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, so-called least-developed countries and developing countries whose gross national income (GNI) per capita is below $1,000 a year at the 1990 exchange rate are allowed to provide export incentives to any sector that has a share below 3.25% in global exports.

However, they need to stop all export incentives if per capita GNI crosses $1,000 for three straight years.

According to a notification by the Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures in 2017, India’s per capita GNI crossed $1,000 for three consecutive years in 2015.

Without taking any names, Prabhu said some countries have exceeded the $1,000 per capita limit but are not being subjected to any regulation. “So it should not single out India alone because we are growing,” he added.

First Published: Mar 16, 2018 22:43 IST