India, other developing countries put foot down at G20


New Delhi : India along with other developing countries of the G20 bloc that met in Geneva Monday has refused to accept any proposal of rich nations that fails to improve the condition of its farmers and agriculture.

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India's Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and ministers from other developing countries also highlighted the importance of special products such as maize, cotton and rice, demanding that tariffs on imports be cut.

"The issue would not be allowed to be diluted in any way by the developed countries to satisfy their demand for additional market access in the developing country markets," Kamal Nath said in a statement here.

The trade ministers of Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, South Africa, Tanzania and Bolivia, among others, also attended the meeting at the WTO headquarters of Geneva.

The G20 noted that even though the developed nations are ready to seek tariff cuts on industrial products – non-agricultural market access (NAMA) in WTO parlance – they are not much eager to implement the same principle for agricultural products in their own countries.

The talks under the WTO had started in Doha, Qatar, in 2001 and had resulted in a stalemate last year after all of its 150 members failed to reach a consensus, largely on domestic support and market access in agriculture.

According to the G20 members, a breakthrough in the Doha round of multilateral trade talks would be possible only when the developed countries delivered on the development mandate.