Access to markets in India at a price, says official

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New Delhi, June 4 (ANI): Countries demanding greater access to Indian markets will have to pay for it if India agrees to give access said, India's chief negotiator at the WTO and an Additional Secretary in the Commerce Ministry, D.K. Mittal.

Speaking at a special address on World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Round Negotiations organised by WTO and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here on Thursday, Mittal said: "Market access would have to be given by all member countries."

"Additional market access will have to be viewed in terms of the balance which was reached in 2008. And it's not a question for India to say yes or no because market access will have to be given by all member countries, whether it's a developing country or developed country," said Mittal.

Mittal also said that if countries agree to provide greater access to their markets, then the those demanding access would have to pay a price for it.

"If we all agree then those who are demanding will have to pay. I have never said that we agree for that because we don't know what is the demand? But if at all countries agree then, they will demand payment from those who are demanding market access," he added.

Harsha Vardhan Singh, Deputy Director General, WTO, said there are still many issues to be sorted before the balance between the developed and developing countries in world can be reached.

"You have the issue of special safeguard mechanism, which is still not settled. You have the issue of additional market access which is being sought by one major WTO member, and India is one of the countries which has been subject of this kind of request. you have even issues where India might not be directly involved but the fact is, all changes in the system affect the overall balance," said Singh.

The WTO talks held in Doha in 2008 had collapsed when developing countries, led by India and China, refused to compromise on measures to protect their farmers and on issues of market access. (ANI)

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