Ficci wants rich nations to cut farm subsidies

July 22nd, 2008 - 10:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Apex industry forum, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), Tuesday urged developed countries to reduce farm subsidies given to its farmers as it has pushed global agriculture trade into a crisis. The industry lobby has objected against carve-outs given to developed countries on farm trade in the latest World Trade Organisation (WTO) draft text on agriculture. At present, over 30 countries are taking part in the Doha Round of world trade talks in Geneva.

Ficci secretary general Amit Mitra in a statement here said countries like the US are still doling out subsidies worth billions of dollars, even after 14 years since the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of world trade talks.

Commerce Secretary Gopal K. Pillai represents India at the Doha Round of world trade talks in Geneva, which started July 21. Commerce Minister Kamal Nath is expected to join the talks July 23 as he has to be present in parliament to participate in the vote of confidence on the UPA government.

According to the industry lobby, the developing countries, under the G-20 bloc have been demanding reduction of farm subsidies by countries like the US. The latest agriculture draft proposes to limit farm subsidies by developed nations in the range between $13 billion and $16.4 billion.

“Issues like significant reduction in trade-distorting domestic support, tariff capping for developed countries and tariff simplification need to be adequately addressed in the Doha agriculture negotiations currently under progress in Geneva,” explained Mitra.

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