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VKJ Law Offices of Vinay K. Jain Advocates & Solicitors

WTO exemption for food stock holding to remain in perpetuity: Puri

NEW DELHI, JULY 18, 2019: THE decision taken by the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in November 2014, makes it clear that the mechanism, under which WTO members will not challenge the public stockholding programme of developing Members for food security purposes, in relation to certain obligations under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, will remain in place in perpetuity until a permanent solution regarding this issue is agreed and adopted. The decision thus protects India’s public stockholding programme from any apprehension of breaching its commitments under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. This decision  also includes a commitment to find a permanent solution.

The Nairobi Ministerial Conference of the WTO held in December 2015 reaffirmed, with consensus, the Interim Peace Clause decided during the Bali Ministerial Conference in 2013 and the General Council Decision of 2014 providing perpetual protection to public stockholding programmes of a developing Member for food security purposes from being challenged in relation to certain obligations under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture until a permanent solution is agreed and adopted.

At Nairobi, Members also agreed to work constructively towards achieving a permanent solution. India is a member of G-33, a coalition group of developing Members, and has been making all efforts to negotiate and achieve a positive outcome on the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes.

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

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