Shri Anand Sharma
Minister of Commerce and Industry Government of India
6 December, 2013, Bali
Stand Firm on Defending India’s Food Security Nothing Less will Do for India!
Dear Shri Sharma,
We, Indian farmers and civil society, welcome your bold and principled statements on food security and in upholding the G-33 proposal. We fully endorse your view that food security is non- negotiable.
We particularly appreciate your stand that the Peace Clause, as it currently stands on the table, is unacceptable in order to effectively guarantee food security for our people. We are aware that tremendous pressure is being put on you to accept conditionalities for a solution.
However, it is critical that India hold firm on its demand for on a permanent one that ensures the following:
coverage of an interim solution extends to the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) and relevant articles under GATT 1994
This will prevent future accusations of this procurement leaking to international markets and facing countervailing measures by other Member States.
no onerous transparency and notification requirements in any solution proposed.
Developed countries comply with much lower levels of transparency requirements for the Green Box. The commitments of the developing countries should be no higher than those standards.
No condition in the Peace Clause that such food programmes have to be proven as “non-trade distorting”
No compromise on the ability of our government and others to enact “future food programmes”
This is being proposed as a “compromise solution” by developed countries.
In sum, the Peace Clause can only be accepted if it comes without onerous and nullifying conditions, covers ASCM and the 1994 GATT Agreement. We urge you to accept nothing less.
This is essential to protect our food programmes in the long run as the government cannot afford to roll back its MSP programme after 4 years. We appreciate that in spite of severe opposition from the USA and the EU, India has strongly held on to its position.
We stand together with you in your efforts to secure an agriculture package in favour of the Indian people and the developing world. As you said today, India did not come to the WTO with a begging bowl—food security for their citizens is an obligation and a right of all countries that supersedes trade rules. India’s small-scale producers meet the food needs of our 1.2 billion people. We have an obligation to protect their livelihoods and ensure that they can continue to produce food for themselves and their country.
Action Aid, India
All India Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (AICCFM) Bhartiya Kisan Union, India
Bhartiya Krishak Samaj
Focus on the Global South, India
Great Mission Group Consultancy, India
Karnataka Rajya Ryots Sangh (KRRS)
Right to Food Campaign
Shram Seva Nyas, Pune, India
South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements Swadeshi Jagran Manch
Third World Network, India