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India will not compromise on food security at WTO ministerial conference

Anand SharmaBali (Indonesia),Dec 3 - In a statement issued at a meeting of the Group of 33 in Bali, Indonesia, ahead of the WTO Ministerial Conference, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has reiterated again that India will not compromise its stand on food security, despite objections raised by developed nations.

Sharma was speaking ahead of the ninth WTO ministerial conference that is taking place in Bali from today.

He said that India is of the view that the interim solution on food security as currently designed, is unacceptable and that New Delhi is not in a position to compromise the interest of Indian farmers to meet the "mercantilist ambitions" of rich nations.

The Bali meeting is being seen as an opportunity for developing countries to remain united in demonstrating the centrality of agriculture in trade talks.

Developed countries have proposed an interim solution of four-year 'peace clause' during which, India would not attract penalty even if the 10 per cent cap is broken.

As per the existing Agreement on Agriculture of the Geneva-headquartered WTO, farm subsidy has to be capped at 10 per cent of the total value of the farm production.

India has raised issues regarding the way the cap value is benchmarked to the base price. (ANI with inputs)