Swadeshi Jagran Manch wants govt to stand firm on all issues at WTO

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New Delhi, Jul 30 (UNI) Hailing collapse of ministerial talks to forge a new global trade deal in Geneva, Swadeshi Jagran Manch today asked the Congress-led UPA coalition government to clarify its stand on anti-concentration and sectoral issues proposed by developed countries.

If anti-concentration clause is made mandatory in the revised Nama (industrial goods) text circulated at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), developing countries, including India, will not be able to protect all their sensitive products in a particular sector/sub-sector from tariff reduction.

In simple terms, sensitive tariff lines that would not be subject to tariff reduction cannot be concentrated in one particular sector (sectorals).

Appreciating the stand taken by the Commerce Minister and his officials on Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) to protect Indian farmers against surge of cheap imports of staples like wheat and rice, the Manch urged the government to stand by the principle of less than full reciprocity as and when negotiations are resumed.

Reminding that the SSM is not the only issue at the WTO, the Manch urged the government to safequard the country's interests in other important issues in agriculture, Nama, services and trade-related intellectual property rights (Trips).

The Manch charged the government with having toned down its demand on trade-distorting subsidies from applied to allowable level.

It said the government has also not clarified if it has agreed to reduction of over 20 per cent special products of its tariff lines in agriculture to 12 per cent proposed by WTO Chief Pascal Lamy.

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