Need to protect Indian interests in new ITA pact: NASSCOM

Kolkata, July 24 (IANS) With WTO members on Friday agreeing to change the prevalent Information Technology Agreement (ITA), Nasscom said there is a need to protect Indian interests in this move.

While the new move in ITA will bring more goods within the duty-free ambit, NASSCOM president R. Chandrasekhar said restrictions and constraints are coming up outside the ambit of trade agreements like movement of technically skilled people and movement of data across borders.

“These trade agreements do give access to India’s market to companies globally. So the question is what are we getting in return and whether our services are getting the reciprocal access,” he told media persons on the sidelines of Retail Summit organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

The ratification will increase the number of goods covered by zero tariff and duty free trade to more than 200 products. Goods including computer software and software media; video game console; printer ink cartridges; GPS devices, medical devices and others are covered under the ITA list.

“What is happening in trade is happening; but restrictions are coming up outside the trade agreements. I think it is important that we need to ensure that even as these global trade agreements are reached which cover the goods, that we do protect our interests in service and technology,” said Chandrasekhar.

India has already expressed its reservation over the proposed changes and clauses to the ITA.

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