Special Correspondent

‘Full autonomy

must be retained to tackle agricultural problems’

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It would be unwise for India to push for the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations, National Law School Vice-Chancellor A. Jayagovind has said.

Inaugurating a seminar on ‘International competitiveness and inclusive development’ organised jointly by the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) here on Monday, Prof. Jayagovind said it might be difficult to have an agreement on agriculture as every country would be wary of tying themselves to an international agreement that would limit their options.

“Let us not be encumbered by an agreement in this regard. We should have full autonomy to tackle our problems in agriculture. In brief, agriculture should not be the central focus of WTO negotiations,” Prof. Jayagovind said.

Subsidies

He, however, felt that the Central government should use the WTO sanction for giving subsidies to small-scale industries to actively promote them.

Delivering the keynote address, A.V. Jose, Honorary Visiting Professor, CDS, said the current global liquidity crisis was on account of the failure of regulatory institutions. Pointing out that many developing countries like India and China were sufficiently insulated from the crisis with strong domestic markets, he said there could be some beneficial outcomes from the crisis.

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