GSP issues will be resolved: India

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The government on Saturday exuded confidence that India and the U.S. would continue to work together for further growing ties following Washington’s decision to withdraw concessions under the Generalized System of Preferences.

“In any relationship, in particular in the area of economic ties, there are ongoing issues which get resolved mutually from time to time, ” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

The Congress termed the U.S. decision a “double whammy”, coinciding with unemployment at a 45-year high and a five-year low in the GDP.

The Indian government on Saturday pointed out that the GSP benefits given by developed countries like the U.S. to developing nations such as India are “unilateral, non-reciprocal and non-discriminatory”.

Earlier Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan had stressed that the move will have a “minimal and moderate impact”, amounting to only $190 million on the value of $5.6 billion in exports to the U.S. that fall under the GSP category.


“India, as part of our bilateral trade discussions, had offered resolution on significant U.S. requests in an effort to find a mutually acceptable way forward. It is unfortunate that this did not find acceptance by the U.S.,” the ministry statement said.

It added, “India, like the U.S. and other nations, shall always uphold its national interest in these matters. We have significant development imperatives and concerns and our people also aspire for better standards of living. This will remain the guiding factor in the Government’s approach.”

Sharp Cong. attack

Reacting to the development, the Congress party urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the country into confidence and make a comprehensive statement on how he intends to overcome this “grave trade and economic crisis”.

Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was a “double whammy” for India which has “succumbed to U.S. pressure” of not buying crude oil from Iran and has also lost special trade status. alleging that the government had done “nothing to preempt it” despite being informed of the decision in March.


”What is of concern is that the withdrawal of 'special trade status' was notified on March 4, 2019 itself. Yet the government did nothing to pre-empt it. The most serious implication would be for sectors like agriculture, auto parts, pharmaceutical etc. which are already facing serious crisis,” he said. Upto 66% of Indian exports will be impacted by the U.S. decision, he added.

The Congress leader also urged the Modi government to withdraw the hike in LPG prices for both subsidised and non-subsidised category which it has “gifted” to the people soon after coming back to power.

The LPG prices have risen by ₹323.5 per cylinder for non-subsidised category and ₹85.37 for subsidised category in the last five years, he alleged. “We urge the Prime Minster to take back this increase in LPG price rise,” he said, adding that women of the country will be badly affected by the price hike.

The Congress party warned that India could see many more industries, including the services industry which has more than $28 billion in exports to the U.S. being affected significantly.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 8:04:05 PM |

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