Maruti Manpade, state president of the Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha (KPRS), has opposed the interim solution suggested by the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azvedo to the G-33 countries and called upon the United Progressive Alliance government to reject it as it is detrimental to the interests of the developing countries and farmers.
He told presspersons here on Wednesday that the peace clause put forward by the WTO director-general would have adverse implications for the procurement policy and the food security programme of the country. “The WTO agenda remains to prise the markets of the Third World countries to the agribusiness of developed countries and to provide them an unregulated access,” he alleged.
Mr. Manpade held that the so-called peace clause would restrict India and other developing countries’ right to provide subsidies or support to crops.
“It [the peace clause] suggests that only traditional staple food crops may be extend subsides for a stipulated period of four years till the 11th ministerial conference of WTO with an understanding that no member shall challenge it through WTO’s Dispute Settlement Mechanism till then,” he said.
He alleged that the developed countries continued to provide over 50 per cent subsidies for agriculture and oppose 3 percent subsidies being provided by the developing countries.
“Developed countries who expect imposition of subsidy restrictions from developing countries have flexibility to retain high level of subsides in the form of direct transfers, food stamps and other measures. The U.S. and the European Union are going ahead with their domestic subsidies as well as export subsidies by conveniently shifting subsidies to the Green Box. The U.S. has more than doubled its subsidy from $ 61 billion in 1995 to $ 130 billion in 2010. In 2012, the U.S. spent $ 100 billion for its food aid programmes while India’s food subsidy bill is expected to be less than $ 20 billion only,” he said.
Mr. Manpade suggested for a separate meeting of third world countries in 9th Ministerial Conference of WTO slated to be held in Bali, Indonesia, in December.
While accepting that the very purpose the formation of WTO was to exploit the farmers of developing countries of the Third World and to open their market for agro companies of the developed countries, Mr. Manpade refused to demand the government to come out of WTO.
Mr. Manpade opposed the proposed amendment to the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act. “The proposed amendment allows the opening of private markets parallel to APMC. It would make pave way for exploitation of farmers by private parties,” he said.
Mr. Manpade said the KRPS would organise protests across the State on December 16 to oppose the amendment.
It will restrict developing countries’ right to provide subsidies, says Manpade