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Reject modalities on natural resources: CPI(M)

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Jun 29: The CPI(M) today asked Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, currently in Geneva to attend the Mini Ministerial meeting of the WTO, to outrightly reject the draft modalities which called for liberalisation of trade in natural resources as fisheries, forestry and mineral resources.

"Moreover, India needs to highlight the point that the discipline on non tariff barriers(NTBs) should be agreed to before the tariff reduction formula is adopted," the party Polit bureau said in a statement here.

The Left party said concrete commitments on NTBs needed to be obtained since the developed countries used NTBs rather than tariffs to deny market access to the developed countries.

Urging the governrment to stick to basic positions, the Left party reminded Mr Nath that at the Hong Kong ministerial, the UPA government had softened its position on agriculture and non Agriculture Market Access."Such a trade off is unacceptable since it would compromise the interests of an overwhelming majority of the Indian population who are employed in agriculture and industrial sector." On agriculture, the Left party stressed that Mr Nath must ensure that the interests of Indian agriculture were protected as" unlike in the developed countries, it is not a trade issue but a livelihood issue for millions of people, whose interests should be kept paramount by the UPA government.".

Besides a small group of countries meeting to negotiate on modalities, excluding a large number of developing countries, exposed the undemocratic nature of the negotiations, it added.


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