New Delhi: India has won a major victory at Geneva with the WTO accommodating its food security demands in a historic worldwide trade reform deal, which the government said was clinched without any conditions or concessions.
Making a suo moto statement today in Lok Sabha on the trade pact clinched at the WTO meeting at Geneva last night, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said besides accepting its concerns on public stockholding, the deal by the 160-member body allows India to continue with its policy to provide minimum support price to farmers.
"We have accomplished this without any concessions, compromise or new conditions," she said, adding that the deal vindicates the principal stand India had taken on food security.
The agreement, she said, provides for continuing the "minimum support price policy which is a lifeline for millions of our low income resource poor farmer. It is also critical for food security in India and in countries which have similar policies".
Stating that New Delhi stood firm on its food security concerns, she said it was able resolve differences with the US earlier this month and persuade it to accept India's stand. This paved way for the WTO deal, which had been in limbo for nearly two decades.
As per the agreement reached yesterday, the WTO nations have committed to ease customs norms to facilitate trade and also agreed to extend the 'peace clause' till a permanent solution is found regarding its foodgrain stock piling.
This is the first major trade pact reached by WTO ever since it came into existence in 1995.