Home / News / World /  WTO needs to rebuild trust, credibility by addressing mandated issues: Goyal

WTO needs to rebuild trust, credibility by addressing mandated issues: Goyal

India is seeking a “permanent solution” on public stockholding to ensure higher farm support for its resource-poor farmers.Premium
India is seeking a “permanent solution” on public stockholding to ensure higher farm support for its resource-poor farmers.

  • A permanent solution on public stockholding is one of India's key demands at the ongoing ministerial meeting, that would allow countries like India give out higher farm support to its resource poor farmers towards ensuring food security and protecting livelihoods.

GENEVA: The World Trade Organization (WTO) must address the nearly decade-old mandate of a permanent solution on public stockholdings to rebuild trust and credibility of the multilateral institution, India's commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said in his address on the opening day of WTO's 12th ministerial conference meeting in Geneva on Sunday.

A permanent solution on public stockholding is one of India's key demands at the ongoing ministerial meeting, that would allow countries like India give out higher farm support to its resource-poor farmers towards ensuring food security and protecting livelihoods.

Speaking at the session on "Challenges confronting the multilateral trading system," Goyal said the proposed agreement to curb fisheries subsidies should not compromise on the livelihoods of traditional fishermen.

While India is seeking a “permanent solution" on public stockholding, the draft agreement on agriculture suggested the matter has been deferred to the next ministerial meeting and only the Work Programme on that will be decided in the ongoing ministerial.

"The WTO needs to rebuild trust. To rebuild trust and credibility, we must first address mandated issues like the permanent solution to public stock holding agreed nearly a decade ago. The current global food crisis is a reminder to us that we act now...," said Goyal.

Negotiations kicked off on Sunday in Geneva on four broad themes -- food security and agriculture, fisheries subsidies, patent waiver on vaccines and the pandemic response, and customs duty on e-transmission.

Pressing for an equitable, fair, and balanced agreement on curbing fisheries subsidies, Goyal said that the livelihood of traditional fishermen cannot be compromised. "We cannot institutionalise the privileges of a few countries and take away the right to progress for those who are working for the weldable marginalised sections of the society," he said.

In the area of fishing, India is seeking changes to a proposal for developing countries to eliminate all subsidies that contribute to overfishing within seven years. India wants this period of exemption to be extended 25 years, arguing its fisheries industry is still in a nascent stage.

The developed and developing countries are sharply diverged on most key issues on the table, making it challengig to have an outcome on any of those from the ongoing ministerial conference.

On WTO reforms, Goyal said the current proposals on the table fundamentally change its institutional architecture, skewing the system against the interests of developing countries. "We need to move ahead preserving the core principles of consensus and ensuring special and differential treatment, with people and development being at the core of WTO's future agenda," he said.

Under WTO reforms, India wants quick revival of the almost-dysfunctional appellate body of the WTO for dispute resolution, without diluting its core features. The body has remained suspended for over two years now after the US blocked the appointment of new nominees. New Delhi will also press that any reform agenda must be development-centric and bolster the provisions of ‘special and differential treatment’, which exempts developing countries from the same strict trade rules and disciplines of more industrialized countries.

Calling Covid-19 vaccines unavailability a collective failure of global governance, Goyal said that the pandemic exposed the inability of the world to promptly respond to any crises, "whether on health, economic well being, or open supply chains."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dilasha Seth

" Dilasha Seth is a journalist reporting on macroeconomic policy for the last 11 years. She writes extensively on issues including international trade, macroeconomic data, fiscal policy, and taxation. At Mint, she reports on trade deals that India is signing besides key policy decisions of the Ministry of Finance. She closely tracked and covered the transition to the goods and services tax (GST) regime in 2017 and also writes on direct tax-related issues. In the past, she has worked with Business Standard and The Economic Times. She is based in Bangalore."
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less

Recommended For You

Trending Stocks

×
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout