India should stay strong this time at WTO
After 13 years of slog the WTO finally tabled the ‘trade facilitation agreement’ to cut down the trade barriers between the countries all over the world ,on December 2013. According to the Peterson Institute this will contribute 1 trillion dollar to global economy and 21 m jobs in the poor countries. Sounds so noble initiative, isn’t it? But is it all?
This is the only faced of the fact. There are such clauses in this agreement that it can easily be described as a conspiracy against developing or poor countries . Behind the curtain it’s just another oppression of poor and developing countries.
India is a place where consumption and needs are more than its production and development. Where a huge percentage of population live on the government subsidy. According to the last WTO agreement , developing countries can only reserve upto 10% of its total harvest value.WTO wants to continue with the same rule now also when inflation has increased to almost 100% from 1986 when the agreement was made. Not only that ,the government has to purchase food grains the market price for subsidy. Which is impossible .Where developed countries like US or European countries can give subsidies to its farmers at a huge level. There is no such explanation of this discrepancy where the populations and the numbers of dependants is totally different.
Agriculture is the economic base of India and unfortunately it is deprived of almost every privilege or even government support .Farmer suicide is a common factor in India. We are losing almost 2000 farmers every day. After this tug-of-war if India again give its nod silently then it would only kill the feeble farmers who don’t even know anything about this. Every morning brings a new misery because of the weather and a fear of getting a square meal for their family. FDI or different schemes are only for trade or technology but there is nothing for agriculture. Even banks can bear large amount of defaults of big companies but they can’t stand a small farmer loan.
This agreements are nothing but an attempt to make Indian market open for international exporters. if somehow our own cultivation is being stopped then we would be compelled to importing cheap food grain from outside. These attempts were made earlier as well. But government always takes such grave situation very lightly. No preparation was made this time also. It is always a knee jerk reaction for them . Last time also India first opposed the agreement but then after few days of meetings they finally agreed under pressure. This year also there is some possibility of the same. Only the commerce ministry took the onus this time but there is no involvement of foreign ministry which was very important.
If this year India would be able to stick to their point , even then there is no assurance that farmers will get the total subsidy . In a corrupt country like India there is no security of any fund or any subsidy. In previous many cases we have seen that in the name of subsidy poor people get low quality food grains and the actual thing has finally become the personal property of some corrupt ministers.
In this regard many economist said that India’s stand is not justified .Because below margin export can cause fiscal deficit ,which in turn will take inflation or interest rates to another level. The protectionist image of India would become more prominent in front of the world which is not good in long run.
So now the question is after such long negotiations what would happen to our farmers. Is there anybody by their side? Year by year this west countries devour our land, food everything. But everybody is still silent after knowing all this .For now we can only wait for the final decision that would be taken by India and WTO.