The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday demanded that India lead the developing nations to challenge the entire focus of the Bali Ministerial and bring about a balanced approach to the negotiating process.

“Any hint of submission to a piecemeal solution will have adverse implications for our economic sovereignty, the livelihood of millions of our poor and small and marginal farmers,” said party general secretary Muralidhar Rao.

He alleged that since its very inception, the WTO has had an inherent bias against the interests of poor nations vis-à-vis the rich. Mr. Rao said: “In a nutshell, the current draft of the peace clause is conditional and thus, offers no peace. When a member country is challenged, the burden of proof is on the challenged country. With the application of the peace clause, the areas which will be affected significantly include MSP offered to small and marginal farmers and the food subsidy programme run by the government of India.”

Hard negotiator

“We have a sterling example of a hard negotiator in the late Murasoli Maran, Minister for Commerce and Industry in the NDA government. The effort should be a conclusion of the Doha development agreement,” he said. “The least developed and developing countries such as India are home to millions of poor, whose interests are set aside in each and every WTO ministerial meet, by frontloading the agenda of the US and EU.”

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