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Sugar subsidies dispute: There would be no impact of WTO panel’s findings on sugar on any of India’s existing and ongoing policy measures in sugar sector, Ministry of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday. 

This comes hours after the WTO released its findings on sugar subsidies and said that India had broken rules by providing excessive domestic support and export subsidies for sugar and sugarcane.

"We recommend that India bring its WTO-inconsistent measures into conformity with its obligations under the Agreement on Agriculture and the SCM (Subsidies and Countervailing Measures) Agreement," the panel said.

The findings came on complaints filed by Brazil, Australia and Guatemala. 

The ministry said India has initiated all measures necessary to protect it's interest and file an appeal at the WTO against the report to protect the interests of its farmers.

In 2019, Australia, Brazil and Guatemala had challenged some of India’s policy measures in the sugar sector at the WTO. “They had wrongly claimed that domestic support provided by India to sugarcane producers is in excess of the limit allowed by the WTO and that India provides prohibited export subsidies to sugar mills," the ministry said.

The ministry said that the panel issued its report today in which it has made “certain erroneous findings about our schemes to support sugarcane producers and exports".

“The findings of the panel are completely unacceptable to India. The Panel’s findings are unreasoned and not supported by the WTO rules. The Panel has also evaded key issues which it was obliged to determine. Similarly, the Panel’s findings on alleged export subsidies undermines logic and rationale," it said.

India believes that its measures are consistent with its obligations under the WTO agreements, the ministry said.

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