TAD NewsDesk, New Delhi: In a recent meeting of Committee of Agriculture (CoA) of World Trade Organization (WTO), India’s agricultural trade practices have been questioned. The country has recently amended its agricultural norms in order to liberalize the sector further.
The common complaint by the developed country members is regarding the lack of transparency in India’s trade practices.
The CoA meeting was held on September 22-23, 2020.
The USA has posited the following questions in the meeting:
- Response from India about disclosure of Food Corporation of India (FCI). FCI has recently revealed that India has exported rice to Egypt on commercial grounds in 2016-17 and for humanitarian purposes in 2017-18.
- The United States felt this as a violation of the country’s policy of not undertaking export on a commercial basis from public stockings.
- It was also asked how the policy of ‘prohibition’ of exports is being enforced in the country.
- The pricing methodology that the country employs after releasing the stocks in the market was also sought.
On the other hand, the European Union (EU) sought the following details:
- Details on India’s agricultural loan waivers.
- How the division of $18 billion for distribution and buffer stock of food grains has been done.
- A breakup of India’s $24.18 billion input subsidies into irrigation, fertilisers, electricity and fuel, mainly, diesel.
- The criteria for the calculation of the market price. EU quoted the official figures of India in 2018-19 when out of 116 million tonnes of milled rice only 44. 33 million tones were used to calculate the market price. And the answer was sought on the remaining 72 million.
Moreover, Canada focused on the schemes of agriculture and sought details upon it:
- The eligibility in Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) programme.
- The country also expressed its doubt on the eligibility of India in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for the subsidy treatment of WTO.
The series of questions were showered after the amendment of the agricultural bills in India which has been contrasted and debated upon since its initiation.