What are the major issues concerning India and the WTO?

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With a reference to India and WTO, the Doha ministerial meet is going to be held in November. India had expressed the view that implementation of the earlier agreements was more important than starling fresh negotiation on new areas. The major areas of negotiations are to cover investments, agriculture, competition policy, government procurement environment and labor standards.

However, India is not in favor of agreement of investment as it will put constraints on India to channel foreign investments into useful sectors and put burden on fore repayment. Similarly an agreement on competition is likely to enhance the freedom of foreign trading companies and expose out domestic firms.

The agreement on environment and labor standards may be used by developed countries 10 reject imports from India. Another important area of concern is the agriculture sector.

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According to GATT, there are tour major provisions reeling to agriculture namely (i) reduction in domestic support (ii) market access (iii) trade related intellectual property rights (iv) sanitary and photo-sanitary provisions. Out of the 715 items for which OK’s have been removed with effect from April 2001. 208 belong to agriculture. To protect the farmers rights Look Sabah has passed the protection of plant varieties and farmers rights bill.

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