Farmers our priority: Jaitley

Asks MPs to convey to the public the stand taken by the centre

New Delhi : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday assured the party MPs that the government was committed to protect interests of the Indian farmers and the people living below poverty line (BPL) by resisting and blocking all anti-farmer moves in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other agencies.

Jaitley asked MPs to convey to the public the stand taken by the NDA government to protect the interests of farmers at WTO.

Giving details of the WTO talks and the stand adopted by India there, Jaitley told party MPs that the government would resist and block all anti-Indian farmer moves by the international body.

Speaking at the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting, Jaitley said that the government would go ahead on the Trade Facilitation principle only after a categorical assurance regarding the public stock-holding and procurement of foodgrains and the public distribution system.

India made it clear at the recent WTO General Council meeting in Geneva that it would not ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) until a permanent solution is found on its food security issues.

“The MPs were told about India’s stand at WTO and that the NDA government would never compromise on farmers’ interests at any cost,” BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said after the meeting.

Regarding the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), the BJP MPs were, meanwhile, told about the decision taken in connection with the issue and that nothing better could be done at this stage as the controversy was created by the previous Congress-led UPA regime.

“Jaitley informed the meeting that the Modi government is voicing the concerns of Indian farmers at various international fora. The government is determined to resist and block all the anti-India farmer moves by WTO and other agencies,”

he said.

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