The development comes even as India's highest authorities are expected to discuss its stand in the WTO. Earlier, New Delhi had adopted a tough position on the public stock-holding of foodgrains for its food security, leading to an impasse in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"On public stock-holding, it is my sense that there is a widespread positive disposition to negotiate an outcome, or a permanent solution as it has been branded. Nonetheless, there also seems to be an overarching reluctance to put other issues on hold while that permanent solution is sought," he said.

Azevedo was speaking at the Trade Negotiations Committee meeting in Geneva.

Stating that no solution has been found to the impasse more than two months after the deadline for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) had passed, he said, "This could be the most serious situation that this organization has ever faced".

He added that while members should keep working for a solution to the current impasse, "we should also think about our next steps".

Meanwhile in New Delhi, sources said that the Prime Minister's Office is expected to convene a meeting of top officials to discuss India's stand on crucial food security and trade facilitation issues ahead of WTO's October 21 meeting in Geneva.

The WTO's highest decision making body General Council's meeting on July 31 had remained inconclusive after India stressed that Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and finding a permanent solution to the food stock-holding issues should be taken up together.

India had also made it clear that it would not ratify the TFA until a permanent solution was found on the food security issue.

Azevedo reported to the Negotiation Committee that "as I see it the situation is clear as I feared, this situation has had a major impact on several areas of our negotiations. It appears to me that there is now a growing distrust which is having a paralysing effect on our work across the board".

"...And I am not in a position to tell you that a solution for our impasse is in the making," he added.

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