Farmers interest will be protected at Hong Kong

Hyderabad, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 05:30am hrs
Allaying fears of the farming community, chief negotiator and additional secretary of the department of commerce, GK Pillai said the government would not sign any agreement in the Hong Kong ministerial conference unless it gets satisfied with the special products and safeguard norms in addition to the minimum tariff reductions.

Delivering the inaugural address at the national seminar on WTO and India : A Roadmap for Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in association with the Centre for Trade & Development here on Tuesday, Mr Pillai said the negotiating officers are fully aware of the situation of the Indian farmers and their legitimate interests would be fully protected. The Hong Kong ministerial conference is scheduled to be held in December and the decisions taken there will be binding on the participating countries.

Further, Mr Pillai said Indias focus in the forthcoming talks would be on the elimination of export subsidy and see that there will be no easy switchover from green box to blue box and vice versa.

Agriculture would be the focus area of discussion in the ministerial conference, especially for developing countries. In fact, a bad deal on agriculture will mean compromising the livelihood of millions of people.