Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, who is leading a 30-member delegation for the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held in Bali from 3-6 December, 2013 has indicated that India will be firm on the core agenda of food security, while being persuasive and constructive. He is likely to raise the issue of the subsistence farmers of India strongly at the G-33 meeting being convened tomorrow in Bali ahead of the Ministerial conference. He is going to unequivocally convey to his interlocutors that India’s concerns on food security are non-negotiable
The Minister will underscore the fact the Bali Ministerial must have a fair and balanced outcome, which addresses the concerns of developing countries adequately, especially so on food security. India’s public stockholding program, for public distribution system cannot be compromised for minor gains of the developed countries. He is also likely to underscore India’s commitment for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) agenda where India has taken a unilateral decision for zero duty access covering 96.2% of tariff lines. India will demonstrate its constructive engagement, as it has unequivocally endorsed 3 out of the 5 issues under consideration of the WTO- namely, LDC issues, tariff rate quota and export competition.
He will pitch for a balanced outcome which addresses India’s food security concerns and not just an outcome which deals with interests of the strong exporting economies of the developed world in spite of the strong head winds in Bali with the developed countries likely to oppose a lasting agreement on food security.