Cabinet approves India’s stand on food security at WTO

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) The cabinet on Wednesday gave post facto approval to the stand India has taken on food security at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting held in Nairobi in December last year.

“The union cabinet has given its post facto approval for the approach adopted by India at the 10th ministerial conference of the WTO held in Nairobi, Kenya, during December 2015,” a commerce ministry statement here said.

“These cover a Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) for developing countries and public stock holding for food security,” it added.

The G-33 group of developing countries has called for an effective special safeguard mechanism for developing countries, and for changing the rules relating to public stockholding for food security purposes.

Developed countries want elimination of export subsidy given by countries like India to boost their agriculture exports.

On the other hand, India, along with other developing nations, is pushing for special safeguard mechanisms which would help in protecting the interests of poor farmers in case of sudden surges in imports or fall in commodity prices.

At the WTO ministerial meeting in December, India proposed either amending the formula to calculate the food subsidy cap of 10 percent, which is based on the reference price of 1986-88, or allowing such schemes outside the purview of subsidy caps.

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