Sinha urges rich nations to open mkts

New York, February 3: | Updated: Feb 4 2002, 05:30am hrs
Flaying rich nations for using new and innovative methods to restrict imports, finance minister Yashwant Sinha has stressed that developing countries better access to the markets of developed ones is of critical importance.

Mr Sinha, who participated in a panel discussions in the World Economic Forum, expressed in a press conference on Saturday Indias determination to go ahead with liberalisation and privatisation.

Emphasis is being given in the forum on curbing terrorism and eliminating financing for the menace, promoting and encouraging financing for development and steps to come out of the global recession.

Calling on the rich countries to open their markets, Mr Sinha gave specific example about the European countries and the US restricting import of Indian steel.

Just because manufactures in India are more competitive, they have been prevented from taking advantage of the markets in the developed nations. That has resulted in surplus capacity, he said.

The industrialised states have placed anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Indian steel on spacious grounds that are not valid, he told reporters.

In this connection, the finance minister said, an Indian delegation had visited the US to explain New Delhis viewpoint on the issue.

Mr Sinha also drew the attention to the international monetary funds concerns over unsustainable subsidies given on agricultural products in the developing countries.

The discussions in the forum, he said, mostly centered around economic slow down and what needs to be done to bring about an upturn especially in the economies of the developed nations, capital inflows and terrorism and security concerns.

Terrorism, he said, is on everyones mind and the fear today is that terrorists might acquire nuclear and biological weapons.

Replying to a question, he reiterated Indias viewpoint on the terrorism menace.

Terrorism, now everyone agrees, is not a problem of any one country but a global one and needs to be tackled globally, he said.

No one now accepts that there are shades of terrorism or differentiates between virtuous terrorism and vicious terrorism as was happening in the past, Mr Sinha added.

Replying to a question Mr Sinha said he does not expect the depreciation of the rupee to have any appreciable effect on the growth rate.

The major concern of the Reserve Bank is to ensure that there is no undue volatility in the exchange market. But we are not targeting any parity of the rupee vs dollar and would allow market forces to take care of that, he added. PTI