CPI demands White Paper on WTO talks

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New Delhi, Aug 26 (UNI) Expressing concern over claim made by World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy that 17 of the 20 issues were resolved during the failed mini-ministerial on global trade talks held in Geneva in July, CPI today urged the government to come out with a "White Paper" on the issues resolved and ones yet to be settled.

Referring to the claim made by Lamy in an interview to an Indian economic newspaper during his recent India visit, party general secretary A B Bardhan said; "The people of our country have the right to know the status" of Doha round at the WTO.

In a letter to the Prime Minister on August 26, copy of which was released to the media today, the Communist leader also sought to know the government's stand on the statement made by India's Commerce Secretary in which he reportedly said India was ready to resolve the remaining issues if Lamy was able to persuade the United States to discuss special safeguards mechanism(SSM).

The July 21-29 ministerial collapsed over disagreement on SSM between India and China, on the one side, and the US, on the other side. India sought actionable SSM which could be activated to protect poor farmers in developing countries against surge in cheap imports.

The US wanted the SSM trigger pegged at 40 per cent rise in imports, but India rejected it, saying it would ruin poor farmers by the time it was activiated.

Lamy had reportedly said that barring SSM, cotton subsidies by the US and intellectual property rights, all the remaining issues were resolved before the talks collapsed.

Bardhan said people are totally in the dark about details on 17 items which Lamy claimed had been resolved." We are totally ignorant about on what terms they have been resolved".

UNI SAA AK RN1720

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