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India shows strong stand on WTO talks, objects agriculture draft

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Hardening its stance in the ongoing WTO talks, India on Thursday strongly objected to the draft text on agriculture and said some countries are pushing for a deal on phasing out export subsidies with “some undue haste”.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also made it clear here that without concluding the pending agenda of the Doha Round, it would be difficult for India to talk about the new issues being pushed by the developed nations.

She said that there is still no consensus on anything with regard to agriculture issues and several countries are of the similar view.

On the agriculture draft provided to the Chair, the minister said that India has expressed its unhappiness about the language, particularly on the stockholding for food security purposes.

“Our team has gone line by line on the agreed draft and on the (WTO’s) Ministerial draft. I have told my team (that wherever we have problem), we will give our language. I have told the Lesotho Minister (who is chair of the agriculture group) that even on the public stockholding, I am not happy with the draft.

“We shall give our line…Similarly in the Ministerial declaration also, I have told (Kenyan Trade Minister) Amina Mohamed (Chair of the WTO meeting) that I will send the draft with the language which will be suitable for India,” Sitharaman told reporters here.

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