Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Government has introduced a Bill in the Assembly to amend the state Prohibition Act, 1937, to conform with GATT agreement.
Moving the Tamil Nadu Prohibition (Amendment) Bill, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who holds charge of prohibition and excise, said as per the GATT agreement, to which India was a signatory, no restriction could be imposed on import of goods to the country.
The Union Government had been requesting the state government since 2001 to bring relevant amendment to the Act to conform with the GATT agreement, he said.
He said the Centre had in October 2005 insisted upon bringing required amendment to the said Act to avoid any retaliatory action on exports from India or on other economic relations by the affected trading partners.
The state’s main export of hosiery and leather goods to European countries might get affected, if such retaliatory actions were taken by affected trading parters, he added.
Karunanidhi said in November 2006, the Centre again pointed out that the present restriction could not be sustained in case it was taken to the WTO under the dispute settlement mechanism and also requested that the issue be examined on an urgent basis and action taken to rectify the situation.
It had therefore been decided to comply with the Centre’s request and amend the Act accordingly, he said.