01 July 1997
India close to removing controls on farm products
An agreement whereby India will remove controls on key consumer goods, including
farm products, could be close at hand. India presented a revised plan to World
Trade Organisation (WTO) members for lifting controls on 2,700 consumer goods
over five to seven years. Industrialised countries want a two to three year time
frame. But a deal could be struck for the longer time period if the controls are
lifted on key consumer goods, farm products, cars and alcoholic drinks in the
early years of the phase-out.
Indian officials want to play down the competitive fall-out on agriculture which
could be exposed to cheap imports from European Community farmers.
The European Union, Japan and the US have threatened to go to the WTO disputes
panel if there is a stalemate.