GENEVA, Apr 26 (PTI): India yesterday rejected a recent proposal of the United States seeking to restrict safeguard measures available to farmers of developing countries stating it was "retrograde" and would adversely affect them.
Federal Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, who met WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy in Geneva, said a US proposal received Monday on Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) in agriculture was very retrograde and against the very spirit of the Doha round mandate agreed upon as it would adversely impact on the interests of developing countries.
Nath, who went to Geneva after attending the Hannover Technology Fair, asked developed countries to realise that agricultural tariffs were a major instrument for protection of farmers against subsidised imports and countries like India cannot be expected to give up that protection.
The heavy farm subsidies given by developed countries must be effectively reduced below applied levels as these were trade distorting, he added.
He said the principal objective of Doha Round of trade negotiations - that development dimension should be at the core of WTO talks-was being sidelined.
There could be no progress in talks due to the intransigence of developed countries of crucial issues of concern to the developing world such as agricultural market access and domestic support, he said.