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No access to market for subsidised agri products from west

Mar '07
Addressing the crucial ministerial meeting of the G-33 in Jakarta, Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has categorically stated that there can be no access to the Indian market for subsidised agricultural products from the west. “We are willing to constructively engage. But, we cannot negotiate the livelihood of our farmers. It is for the developed countries to come forward with credible and meaningful offers to cut subsidies and open market access.”

“Asking us for flexibility is fine, but asking us for access to Indian market to subsidised agricultural products is just not acceptable”, he said at the G-33 Ministerial Meeting which was inaugurated by the President of Indonesia last night. He also recalled the President of Indonesia's remark while inaugurating the meeting that: “It is our right and our responsibility to protect our farmers from falling victims to an unjust trade regime”.

Shri Kamal Nath advised the G-33 to be careful: the Doha mandate and Hong Kong Declaration gave the G-33 Special Products (SPs) and Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) as crucial instruments of development. “There can be no departure form the mandate”, he said.

Reminding all present that this was a Development Round and it must deliver on development, he reiterated that developed countries' domestic and export subsidies were “poison” and had severely distorted trade and hurt the developing countries. “This has to change. This is the important goal of this Round”, he added.

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