Doha Round is not dead, but Indias concerns remain: Pillai

August 4th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Aug 4 (ANI): Commerce Secretary G K Pillai today said the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks, which collapsed last week in Geneva, are still not dead, and disclosed that WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy would be coming to India for detailed discussions with Indian industry.

Speaking at the roundtable on WTO negotiations organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Pillai said that Lamy is expected to take up the concerns of Indian industry with regard to non-agricultural market access (NAMA).

The Indian industry feels that the current NAMA proposals would result in a disproportionate impact on certain key, relatively labour-intensive sectors, which are dominated by small and medium-sized businesses, he added.

On the Geneva talks, Pillai said that Indias areas of concern remain on the special safeguard mechanism for farmers.

He said agriculture was a livelihood issue for the developing countries and therefore they needed a more liberal safeguard mechanism than what was proposed during the Geneva talks.

Pillai said that an agreement on the Doha round was likely only around 2010, given the impending US presidential elections.

During the Geneva talks, it had been suggested that the safeguard mechanism in developing countries come into effect if imports in country surged by 40 per cent.

However, India and the other developing countries wanted this trigger to become active in case of a 10 per cent volume surge.

Pillai also reiterated the governments concern on market opening clauses like anti-concentration and sectorals. (ANI)

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