NAMA text belies Indian industry hopes;says Ficci to WTO Chief

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New Delhi, Jun 26 (UNI) Criticising the revised industry text, called Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA)in the WTO parlance, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) today said it ''completely disregards the sensitivities and realities of Indian industry.'' In a letter to World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Pascal Lamy, Chamber's Secretary General Amit Mitra said, ''We at FICCI feel that the revised text of Nama has belied the expectations of Indian industry.'' The text, released by the global trade body on May 19, has disregarded the development dimension of the Doha Round by restricting the flexibilities for developing countries and also by ignoring Doha's core mandate of ''Less Than Full Reciprocity (LTFR) principle.'' There has been little headway in Nama in the Doha Round of world trade talks, as developing countries like India are unwilling to accept the provisions of the draft text.

LTFR was included in the Doha mandate to ensure that developed countries undertake higher levels of duty cuts than developing countries.

FICCI is worried by NAMA's proposals which do not allow developing countries to protect sensitive industrial products in sectors lie auto-components, textiles and chemicals from tariff reduction.

NAMA's provisions will not allow developing countries to shield industrial goods in a particular sector, making Indian industries vulnerable to cheap imports.

Under the 'Anti-Concentration' principle which, FICCI said, was inserted at the behest of certain developed countries, sensitive industrial goods not subject to tariff reduction cannot be concentrated in one particular sector.

Urging the WTO Chief to ensure that such clauses are not included in the Nama draft text, Ficci said the current proposals will hurt Indian small and medium enterprises which provide employment to millions of people.

FICCI also criticised a proposal which links tariff reduction in industrial goods of developing countries to the concessions given by it in particular sectors. Known as ''Sectoral'' initiative, the provision has been made mandatory in the May 19 NAMA draft text.

Dr Mitra said linking participation in Sectoral initiative, which is voluntary, with more liberal formula reduction is in a complete breach of the Doha mandate.

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