Experts Support Rejection

New Delhi, July 30 | Updated: Jul 31 2004, 06:21am hrs
Trade experts have endorsed commerce and industry minister Kamal Naths rejection of the revised draft framework agreement circulated by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Friday. They believe that while the revised draft was marginally better than the first one, it needed drastic amendments to be acceptable to developing countries including India.

According to Nagesh Kumar, director, Research & Information System for Non-aligned and other Developing Countries (RIS), the new draft has only brought about some cosmetic changes. The new draft is quite similar to the earlier one. While there are marginal improvements in agriculture, there are none in other areas, he said

Listing out the positive changes, Dr Kumar said that capping of blue-box subsidies at 5 per cent was a step towards disciplining such subsidies. The flexibility given to developing countries for protecting its sensitive products was also a positive move, he said.

Other than this, the new draft was disappointing for developing countries as it did not address any concerns raised by it, Dr Kumar added.

T K Bhaumik, senior policy adviser,CII, objects to the use of the word minimally trade distorting for green-box subsidies. He is also against granting of protection to sensitive products of developed countries. While the new draft is a step forward, it still requires a lot of negotiations, he said.