Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
Meeting of the General Council WTO
Jul 26, 2014

The General Council of the 160-member WTO meeting was held in Geneva discussed over adoption of trade facilitation deal and India's stand on the issue on 24-25 July. India has decided to stick to its tough stand on WTO's trade facilitation agreement. India has made it clear that it will not yield to the pressure of developed nations on pushing the WTO's Bali agreement on trade facilitation agreement without addressing India's concerns on food security issues. India wants a concrete framework on finding a permanent solution for India's public stock holding issue and without that New Delhi will not adopt the TFA protocol.

Sharp differences have emerged between rich economies like the US and Australia and emerging nations, including India and South Africa, on implementation of the Bali package. While the developed world is pressing for adoption of protocol on TFA, India is asking for finding a permanent solution for its food security programme. India wants implementation of TFA only as a part of a single undertaking that includes a permanent solution on food security issue.


The current WTO norms limit the value of food subsidies at 10 percent of the total value of food grain production. However, the support is calculated at the prices that are over two-decade old and not at current prices. India is asking for a change in the base year (1986) for calculating the food subsidies. The US gives about USD 120 billion as agriculture subsidy as compared to India's USD 12 billion.


The TFA will be formally implemented in 2015. The TFA, which aims at simplifying customs procedure, increasing transparency and reducing transactions cost, is being pushed by the US and other developed nations as they seek to bolster their sagging economies through an unhindered international trade by way of a uniform and easy procedures at customs.


India’s stand: Having signed on to the Ministerial Decisions in Bali, let there be no doubt about India’s commitment to those Decisions including the Trade Facilitation Agreement. All India is asking is that the public stockholding issue as well as other decisions of Bali be taken forward in the same timeframe as Trade Facilitation. The issue relating to public stockholding is an agreed part of the 2008 text and represents a life and death situation for a number of developing countries. 

India believes this is a simple issue which can be addressed very quickly. This is important so that the millions of farmers and the poor families who depend on domestic food stocks do not have to live in constant fear. To jeopardize the food security of millions at the altar of a mere anomaly in the rules is unacceptable. India is of the view that the Trade Facilitation Agreement must be implemented only as part of a single undertaking including the permanent solution on food security.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.