Says rich nations failed to discuss food security of developing countries

New Delhi : India has blamed the rich nations for a deadlock on global trade talks in Geneva last week and said they were unwilling to discuss other issues of importance to developing countries, such as permanent solution on food subsidy.

“Some developed countries were reluctant to engage on other issues,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, referring to the efforts at the Geneva meet to agree on a pact to simplify rules on global commerce before July 31.

“India, therefore, took the stand that till there is an assurance to finding a permanent solution to public stockpiling and all other Bali deliverables, it will be difficult to join the consensus on the protocol for amendment on trade facilitation,” she said.

Spelling out India’s stand during the talks at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the minister said the previous ministerial meeting at Bali negotiated the various issues as a single package, and that spirit must be kept.

“It is regrettable that today the WTO is unable to agree even to fast track negotiations on an issue of such importance to millions of subsistence farmers across the developing world, while the rich world continues to subsidise its farmers unabatedly.”

At a meeting of trade diplomats of 160 member countries of the WTO in Geneva last week, India decided to veto an accord on trade facilitation, saying a parallel solution must be found on the permissible subsidy on procurement of food for public distribution.

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