Seeking to ward off criticism that its unrelenting stance has led to the breakdown of WTO talks to ease customs rules, India on Tuesday vowed allegiance to the multilateral process for trade liberalisation but said imbalances in the WTO system needed to be corrected.
“The timely correction of any imbalances or anomalies in the working of the system or its rules is critical to ensure that WTO works impartially and fairly in the interest of all its members and not just a select few... I am confident India will be able to persuade the WTO membership to appreciate the sensitivities of developing countries and see their way to take this issue forward in a positive spirit,” commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Parliament.
On August 1, a day after its firm stand on food security lead to the failure of WTO talks on the Bali package, India had agreed to re-engage once the world body re-convenes in September. Though the Protocol of the Trade Facilitation Agreement was to be adopted by July 31 by the WTO and despite pressure from developed countries, India stood firm it would not join the consensus till it gets an assurance of commitment from all WTO member countries to find a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security purposes.