Jairams common man to reap benefits of international trade

New Delhi, Jan 31 | Updated: Feb 1 2006, 05:30am hrs
Taking the benefits of international trade to the common man will be on top of minister of state for commerce Jairam Rameshs agenda. The newly-appointed minister would ensure that trade leads to the generation of employment, agricultural growth, regional development and value addition.

Addressing a press conference after assuming the office on Tuesday, Mr Ramesh said a lot of noise has been made about WTO negotiations and macro issues, but not much was done to see how international trade affected common people and how their grievances could be redressed. While the positive effect of trade is macro, the negative effect is micro, he said.

According to Mr Ramesh, there was a need for trade adjustment programmes at the local level for job relocation and worker re-training for sectors affected due to greater inflow of imported goods. He said to benefit the common man trade should result in creation of jobs, increased market access for agriculture producers, and development of backward regions.

When asked about allowing FDI in retail, the MoS stated that the concerns expressed by various quarters were serious and had to be addressed. The Prime Minister and the commerce minister are holding talks on the issue with the Left and other parties, he said.

On the on-going Doha round of talks at the WTO, Mr Ramesh said that domestic politics would determine Indias stand in the negotiations. Unlike the previous Uruguay round, where the focus was on issues like intellectual property, this time agriculture is the thrust issue. India cant afford to be proactive in agriculture, he said.