The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has expressed concern over the World Trade Organisation’s permissible food subsidy limit norms, saying India should not give in to “unjust pressure” from the world body and western powers, but should continue to press for “fundamental changes” in its rules at next month’s meet in Bali.
As per the WTO norms, a developing nation can provide food subsidy of up to 10 per cent of the total farm output.
“The proposed ‘peace clause’ is by no means a fair resolution of the issue and should be rejected by India. Continuance of the present WTO rules regarding food stockholding will not only jeopardise present efforts in India to ensure food security for millions of hungry people, but will also make it impossible to further strengthen such measures in the future," a statement issued by the CPI (M) here on Sunday said.
The party’s Polit Bureau has demanded that “India should not give in to this unjust pressure from the WTO secretariat and the EU and the US and continue to press for fundamental changes in the WTO rules so that food subsidy programmes are not designated as illegal.”
The G-33 nations, a group of emerging countries, including India, are demanding amendment to the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) in order to implement the food security plan without attracting any penalty even after breaching the minimum subsidy cap.