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Ministerial level meeting to be held in end May on Doha Round
02
May '08
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has informed that in the Agriculture negotiations, safeguarding the interests of India's low income and resource poor agricultural producers remains paramount for us and this cannot be traded off against any gains elsewhere in the negotiations.

While addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee Meeting of his Ministry, here last evening, on the subject “Status of Doha Round Negotiations”, the Minister added that “our defensive concerns in agriculture are mainly in the market access pillar of the negotiations which deals with tariff cuts.

We are clear that we will not take an overall cut of more that 36% in our bound rates”. On the issue of domestic support to agriculture, Shri Kamal Nath said that the G-20, of which India is a member, has been demanding substantial and effective cuts in overall trade-distorting domestic support by the developed countries.

The members present at the meeting were: S/Shri Sharad Anantrao Joshi, Shantaram Naik, M. Rajasekara Murthi, Naresh Gujral, Sambasiva R. Rao, Suresh Prabhu and Sudhangshu Seal. Shri G.K. Pillai, Commerce Secretary, was also present at the meeting.

Shri Kamal Nath also informed the members that “we have reached a critical stage. The Chairs of the Negotiations Groups on Agriculture and NAMA are expected to bring out revised texts in early May. A Ministerial level meeting is likely to be held towards the end of May”.

On Special Products (SPs), Shri Kamal Nath said that “we have made it clear that this issue is critical to the livelihood of our subsistence farmers and our food security and that the final outcome must be to our full satisfaction”.

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