Oct 8, 2013, 9:13 AM
News Code: 80850077
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WTO chief raises concern over India food security law

New Delhi, Oct 8, IRNA - Ahead of WTO ministerial meet at Bali, the organisation's new chief Roberto Azevedo Monday in New Delhi said India's food security law will raise subsidy levels and the issue needs to be addressed in a positive manner.

India is also keen to win legitimacy for its ambitious food security law that promises highly subsidised foodgrain to the poor from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and is open to the issue being discussed at the Bali meeting in December.

One important issue where India is very much involved is food security proposal, he said.

Terming it as a very complex issue, he said: "I doubt immensely that we are going to have finalised solution on all aspects of this issue in four weeks. It is just impossible."

India is implementing the Food Security Act which entitles 82 crore people to 5 kgs of foodgrain per person in a month at the rate of rs 1-3 per kg. The country needs 62 million tons of foodgrain in a year to implement the law.

"The initial proposal (on food security) which was tabled by G33 was immediately rejected by many countries for different reasons...but we have made lot of progress since that time.

"From upfront rejection, we now are building environment for very constructive engagement that will try to address this issue in a positive manner," Azevedo said in a joint press conference along with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.

"Now we have to work towards an acceptable formulations," Sharma said, adding that talks will find an acceptable solution.

The WTO chief said that trade ministers should engage and try to find a long-term solution.