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    HomeBusinessMoratorium on e-transmissions at WTO against India’s interest: SJM

    Moratorium on e-transmissions at WTO against India’s interest: SJM

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    Economy

    At WTO MC 12, India must insist on TRIPS waiver, permanent solution to public stockholding

    Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the economic wing of the RSS, has urged the government to insist on a permanent solution on public stockholding concerns, non-renewal of the moratorium on customs duties on e-transmissions, and waiver of intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines and medical tools at the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva.

    In the draft resolution adopted at the SJM’s National Council Meeting on June 4-5, the group stressed that India must safeguard the interests of its small fishermen and protect other fishing activities important for the coastal population livelihood by opposing the proposals of developed nations limiting exemptions from subsidy cut commitments.

    The Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will represent India at the WTO MC 12 in Geneva on June 12-15 where topics of focus would be a proposed ban on fisheries subsidies,  a temporary TRIPS waiver for Covid-19 medical products, extension of moratorium on duties on e-transmissions and discussions on a permanent solution to the public stockholding issue that put a limit on MSP support given by developing nations to farmers.

    Custom duty on electronic transfer

    “…current moratorium on custom duty on electronic transfer is against the interest of developing countries in general and India in  particular. This is not only impacting job creation in electronic sector, but also  revenue generation… The surging trend in digitisation of greater number of products, especially increasing percentage of 3D printing of manufactured goods is showing further losses of tariff revenue,” the resolution stated stressing that the SJM opposed continuation of the moratorium.

    TRIPS waiver for Covid-related medicines

    On the proposed TRIPS waiver for vaccines, medicines and consumables to treat Covid-19, the SJM pointed out that the text circulated at the WTO for negotiations was very different from what was proposed in the waiver proposal by India and South Africa. “It is unfortunate that the proposal of the developed world is limited to TRIPS waiver for vaccine only and that too, limited to import and exports of the vaccine. Need of the hour is TRIPS waiver extended to medicines, diagnostic, disposables and all types of equipments used in the treatment of Covid. We call upon the Centre to take up the issue at MC12 forcefully and give lead to the developing countries and LDC for this much needed extensive TRIPS waiver,” it said.

    Food security

    Stressing on the importance of public stockholdings for food security which got highlighted in the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the SJM said that it appreciated the proposal of Africa group, G33 and others, strongly supported by India, for a permanent solution, which would undo the wrong done at WTO initial agreements, when the base year was kept at 1986-88 for the purpose of calculation of agriculture subsidies. “We call upon the government to press for an agreement which doesn’t come in way of food security for crores of Indian people and also undo the historical wrongs in terms of classification of subsidies. There is no justification of allowing more than $300 billion of subsidies by US and objecting a meagre subsidies given by Indian government for food security of people,” it said. 

    Commenting on the on-going negotiations on curbing harmful fisheries subsidies, the SJM stated that it strongly opposed the developed countries suggesting exemptions from subsidy cuts for resource poor fishers with a limit of 5 years for fishing in the EEZ.

    “SJM calls upon the government to safeguard the interests of our small fishermen and other fishing activities for the livelihood of our vast coastal population,” it said.

    Published on June 06, 2022

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