wto questions agri infra fund

India’s Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and cotton subsidies have come beneath scrutiny on the  WTO , with Australia looking for clarity on the scope of the fund and affirmation that New Delhi has not exceeded its 10% ceiling assist, known as de minimise in commerce parlance, for the pure textile fibre.

Australia has requested India to supply the general worth of cotton manufacturing within the nation and ensure that New Delhi has not exceeded the ceiling. The subject got here up on June 17-18 on the assembly of the WTO Committee on Agriculture.

“India affirmed that its cotton support has not exceeded its de minimis spending limit,” mentioned a Geneva-based official.

Subsidy ceilings for India and different growing nations are fastened at 10% of the worth of meals manufacturing. The queries come at a time when India has invoked the peace clause for exceeding the subsidies for rice two years in a row.

Categories under export clusters

On the AIF, Canberra sought particulars of how financing shall be offered for the tasks, together with the crops that fall inside the definition of ‘export clusters’. The AIF is a medium-long-term debt financing facility for funding tasks for post-harvest administration infrastructure and group farming property, corresponding to offering provide chain infrastructure for clusters of crops together with export clusters.

Australia additionally needed to know which fruits, greens and different commodities are included within the export clusters, in response to the official.

At the assembly, Canada, the EU, Russia, Ukrain and the US once more questioned India on continued restrictions regarding imports of pulses, public stockpiling, export subsidies for skim milk powder, and its export prohibition on onions.

The EU, Brazil, Japan, Paraguay and Russia expressed considerations concerning the lack of transparency or lacking info regarding India’s rice purchases and subsidies, and public stockholding information, and mentioned that the data was essential as New Delhi is a key proponent of a everlasting answer on public stockholding for meals safety.

On its half, India requested the EU, the US and Canada for his or her pending notifications on home assist, and questioned Canada on its plans to spend $101 million over two years on a programme for the wine sector.

Source : The Economic Times June 20 2021,