CPI asks govt not to succumb to US pressure on WTO

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New Delhi, Jul 26 (UNI) The CPI today said the US was pressuring India to change its stand on the WTO and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to deviate from the ''justified position'' but stand firm to protect the country's interests.

In a statement issued here the CPI said it was ''reliably learnt'' that US President George Bush had telephoned the Prime Minister three times during the past few days and was ''pressurising to deviate'' from the present position.

Expressing serious concern at the ''undue pressure'' by the US on India to ''surrender'' to their dictates in the crucial mini-Ministerial discussions at Geneva, the CPI said in the WTO mini-Ministerial meeting till now, India had stood firm and mobilised developing countries for protection of their agriculture from the ''onslaught'' of the developed countries.

The CPI alleged that the Indian delegation attending the meeting was becoming soft since yesterday morning and observers were worried that India may totally surrender which would be detrimental to Indian Agricultural Sector and farmers in particular who are already in ''great distress.'' The statement said developed countries were already giving lot of direct subsidies through budgetary provisions to their peasants and pressurising developing countries to withdraw subsidies in the name of free trade and market access.

''One should take note that the US and European Union governments ae giving subsidies to their Agricultural sector from 70-80 per cent and sometimes even not to raise the crops. The tariff is higher on imports of agricultural products from developing countries,'' the statement added.

It called upon the government not to deviate from its ''justified position'' on the Doha Round of talks but stand firmly to defend the interests of India and developing countries.

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