wto: India rejects WTO text for fisheries pact

NEW DELHI: India has rejected the latest draft for an agreement to lower fisheries subsidy at the World Trade Organization (WTO), arguing that it did not take on board the suggestions to make the regime equitable and was biased in favour of countries such as Norway, China and Japan, which were exploiting international waters. An agreement on fisheries subsidies, meant to make it sustainable, is a key thrust area for the WTO ministerial talks later this month. Government sources said India was committed to putting in place a regime that helped meet the sustainable development goals, but it did not support the proposals in their current form. India is demanding common but differentiated responsibilities and is seeking to extend the climate change philosophy to these talks. A key proposal from India is to seek a standstill for 25 years from countries in Europe, as well as other global giants such as China, Japan and Korea for fishing in international waters, while also ensuring that developing countries get a longer timeframe to comply with the obligations that they undertake. Besides, it has argued that the subsidies offered by it are meant to sustain poor fishermen in India.

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