Big victory for Modi Govt in sight! WTO's TFA deal likely to be inked

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Narendra Modi
New Delhi, Nov 7: Prime Minister Narendra Modi who scored high on diplomacy front recently, may soon add another feather in his cap . Sources say that the global trade impasse will soon get over as both United States and European Union have hinted that they may relent on India's demand.

They will most likely give leeway to India in fixing minimum support price for farm products. In return India will sign trade facilitation agreement (TFA) which it had denied signing in July, expressing its concern about food subsidy and stockpiling of food grains.

"India, US and EU are close to some understanding and based on this understanding they will work for a final solution at the WTO", the Times of India report quoted.

Read more- Know what is WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement and why India is opposing it

The US earlier had blamed India for the collapse of WTO talks for the Trade Facilitation Pact (TFA) and had said New Delhi's position had put WTO's future in uncertain ground. India had made it clear that it would not ratify TFA until a permanent solution was found on food security issue.

New Delhi had asked WTO to amend norms for calculating agriculture subsidies so that it can continue to procure foodgrains from farmers at minimum support price and sell them to the poor at cheaper rates without violating the norms.

The current WTO norms limit the value of food subsidies at 10 per cent of the total value of food grain production. However, the quantum of subsidy is computed after taking into consideration prices that prevailed two decades ago. There are apprehensions that once India would fully implement its food security programme it may breach the cap.

Earlier, appreciating efforts of India and the US to end the impasse over trade facilitation and food security issues, WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo on Thursday expressed hope that talks will help end the stalemate.

"The Director General was pleased to hear that the dialogue between the US and India had resumed. He hopes that this dialogue will continue and will be fruitful in advancing efforts to resolve the current impasse, but he is not aware that any understanding has been reached as yet," WTO said in a statement.

Additional Secretary in the Commerce Ministry J S Deepak and Indian Ambassador at WTO Anjali Prasad met WTO chiefAzevedo on Wednesday in Geneva. The WTO chief have asked all members to increase efforts to iron out issues.

"I encourage all WTO members to redouble their efforts to find a solution given the seriousness of the situation that the organisation is currently in," Azevedo on Wednesday said in New Delhi.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had attributed the impasse to the unreasonable posturing by some developed countries.

"India is certainly not opposed to trade facilitation. Let me make it very clear... We are agreeing to a multilateral arrangement on trade facilitation but please keep the peace clause alive till the dispute is settled with regard to the stock holding," Jaitley had said.

OneIndia News

(With inputs from PTI)

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