"To jeopardize the food security of millions at the altar of a mere anomaly in the rules is unacceptable," India said in the two-day General Council meeting that concluded in Geneva.
    
With India taking a strong stand, it will now be difficult for the developed nations to push their agenda of implementing the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

With this deadlock, the WTO will miss another deadline to implement a pact. The world trade body is scheduled to ratify the TFA till July 31.
    
"In order to fully understand and address the concerns of members on TFA, my delegation is of the view that the adoption of the TF protocol be postponed till a permanent solution on public stock holding for food security is found," Indian Ambassador to the WTO Anjali Prasad said.
    
Regretting that in the last seven months no progress has been made on the public stock-holding for food security purposes, India said, "We do not have the required confidence and trust that there will be constructive engagement on issues that impact the livelihood of a very significant part of the global population."
    
Amendment to World Trade Organization (WTO) norms regarding stockpile of foodgrains is critical for India for implementation of its food security programme.
    
The current WTO norms limit the value of food subsidies at 10 percent of the total value of food grain production. However, the support is calculated at the prices that are over two-decade old and not at current prices.
    
India is asking for a change in the base year (1986) for calculating the food subsidies. US gives about USD 120 billion as agriculture subsidy as compared to India's USD 12 billion.
    
The final protocol for the TFA, which is dear to the developed world, including US and Australia, was concluded by the WTO members, but no single meeting has happened on India's food security related issues.     

 

The Trade Facilitation Agreement agreed in Bali Summit of WTO contains provisions for faster and more efficient customs procedures
Current WTO norms limit the value of food subsidies at 10 percent of the total value of food grain production.
The support price is calculated at the prices that are over two-decade old and not at current prices.
India is asking for a change in the base year (1986) for calculating the food subsidies. US give USD 120 billion as agriculture subsidy as compared to India's USD 12 billion.
The European Union said without adoption of TFA by July 31, 2014 a great opportunity to mobilize trade as an instrument for growth and development would be lost and the credibility of the WTO would be further damaged.
India has this time said no to TFA if food security issue is not going to resolve.

Although an agreement was reached in WTO's Bali meeting last year after a gap of about two decades, it may now hit a roadblock with the developed countries, including US, Australia and Europe pushing their own agenda of TFA and ignoring the concerns of the emerging and poor economies.
    
The TFA, which aims at simplifying customs procedure, increasing transparency and reducing transactions cost, is being pushed by US and others as they seek to bolster their sagging economies through an unhindered international trade by way of a uniform and easy procedures at customs.
    
A large block of global powers have joined hands against New Delhi in Geneva on the TFA issue.
    
In two separate statements the European Union and an Australia-led group of more than two dozen countries have asked India not to veto the TFA.
    
The European Union in a statement said without adoption of TFA by July 31 a great opportunity to mobilize trade as an instrument for growth and development would be lost and the credibility of the WTO would be further damaged.
    
"The Bali outcomes were negotiated as a package and must be concluded as such. Timelines are important but we cannot afford to act in haste in the WTO ignoring the concerns expressed by Members," India said.
    
Responding to concerns that WTO's is facing a credibility crisis, India said the failure of the WTO to work in the interests of all its members and to deliver meaningfully on the ‘development’ mandate of the Doha Development Round would pose a far more serious risk to its credibility than any other factor.
    
New Delhi said that its expectations have been ‘completely belied’ by the developments after the Bali Ministerial.
    
"As we have consistently pointed out, India is seriously concerned about the lack of progress on some of the Bali outcomes and minimal movement on the others."
    
India said that a clear will to engage in areas of interest to developing countries is conspicuously absent.
    
"To make matters worse, persistent efforts are being made to subvert the mandate by divesting it of its core elements. While meetings have taken place on some of the Bali issues, they have not even resulted in the contours within which those issues are to be discussed further and resolved," it added.     
Discussions on the Bali decision on public stock-holding have not even commenced despite repeated requests and proposals already on the table.     

"As a consequence, even seven months after Bali, we do not have the required confidence and trust that there will be constructive engagement on issues that impact the livelihood of a very significant part of the global population," a statement by India said.
    
The issue relating to public stock-holding represents "a life and death situation for a number of developing countries and LDCs (least developed countries)".
    
"We believe this is a simple issue, which can be addressed very quickly. This is important so that the millions of farmers and the poor families who depend on domestic food stocks do not have to live in constant fear," India said.
    
India has clearly said that the TFA must be implemented only as part of a single undertaking including the permanent solution to the food security issue.
    
Further, New Delhi has made concrete suggestions on procedures to ensure delivery of all Bali issues in a time-bound manner.
    
It has suggested immediate establishment of an institutional mechanism such as a dedicated special session of the Committee on Agriculture to find a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security.
    
"There must be clear-cut procedures, timelines and outcomes under this institutional mechanism so as to arrive at a permanent solution by December, 31 2014; a similar approach must be adopted on all other elements of the Bali Package notably the LDC issues," India's statement said.
    
It has asked for a review of the progress of these accelerated discussions in October by the General Council.
    
"If WTO Members demonstrate the same energy and commitment on the other Bali issues as they have done on TFA, we will not only be able to find a permanent solution on the issue of public stock-holding for food security but will also be able to implement TFA in the agreed timeframe as well as deliver favourable outcomes for LDCs," it added.

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