“The freezing customs duties amounted to the developing countries ceding their policy space and being denied any recognition for their autonomous liberalisation,” commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said at the G-20 ministers’ meeting in Geneva
Geneva: India on Thursday rejected proposals of some developed nations to freeze customs duties at current levels (tariff standstill) and taking away rights to ban farm exports as a possible way forward on World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks, saying that if accepted it would tantamount to ceding sovereign rights, reports PTI.
“This (freezing customs duties) amounted to the developing countries ceding their policy space and being denied any recognition for their autonomous liberalisation,” commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said at the meeting of the Group of Twenty (G-20) ministers here.
Mr Sharma, who is here to participate in the eighth Ministerial Conference of WTO, said that any dilution of the flexibilities available under the WTO regime for imposing export restrictions on agricultural items and taxes was ‘unacceptable’.
The WTO negotiations have been stalled due to differences between rich and developing nations on tariff liberalisation and level of market opening.
Agreeing to tariff standstill means a drastic reduction in duties by developing countries like India, as the country’s applied customs duties is below bound ceiling levels.
To augment domestic supplies, India has banned exports of pulses and also imposed quantitative restrictions on outward shipments of commodities like rice and sugar. Besides, India is planning to bring a food security law under which nearly 64% of its population will have legal entitlement on subsidised foodgrain.
The conference, the highest policy-making of the 154-member WTO body, is meeting to deliberate how to revive the stalled talks for achieving a global trade agreement under the 10-year old Doha Round.
Mr Sharma further said, “It was imperative that the WTO while taking up all manner of new challenges does not forget the traditional challenge of development.”
He called for continued solidarity and reinvigorated engagement so that the current impasse in the Doha negotiations is broken and the attempts to replace the development centric agenda are thwarted.
In his intensive consultations with developing and developed countries, to evolve a common position on the way forward on the Doha Development Agenda, Mr Sharma said India views WTO as an institution to provide a level-playing field in the global trade.
At the meeting of the G-33 countries (a coalition of agricultural economies) he urged for ushering in much delayed changes in the current agricultural trading regime which negatively impact the livelihood concerns of billions of subsistence farmers in the developing world.
Mr Sharma also addressed a gathering of delegates of the G-90 (poorest and smallest developing countries) and Brazil, China and South Africa.
The unique grouping of over 100 countries called the ‘Friends of Development’ reaffirmed their commitment to the centrality of development in Doha Round and the need to keep negotiations transparent and inclusive.
The grouping issued a declaration committing their desire to take forward the Doha Development Agenda without deviating or diluting the core of the round.
As correctly predicted by Moneylife, the central bank had kept repo, reverse repo, CRR and SLR rates unchanged and said that from now onward its actions would respond to the risks to growth
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its mid-quarterly monetary policy review on Friday, kept the repo and reverse repo rates unchanged at 8.5% and 7.5%, respectively. It also did not revise the cash reserve ratio (CRR), which stands at 6% and the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) at 24%.
Analysts had opined that in view of the slowdown in the economy on account of rising interest rates and the global situation the central bank may take a pause this time. (Read...RBI may take a pause by keeping policy rates unchanged)
While accepting that there is deceleration in growth due to past monetary policy tightening and domestic policy uncertainties, the RBI, said, “From this point on, monetary policy actions are likely to reverse the cycle, responding to the risks to growth.”
Politicians want to control the internet because they are worried about internet scams taking over their games. Unfortunately, these scams mostly don't come with guarantees
You have recently received e-mails from a lady pretending to be the unfortunate Rajaratnam’s wife, offering a share of the fortune gone adrift; you have probably donated the BMWs and other luxury cars you’ve won thanks to online lotteries. The sad fate of generals from Uganda, gold mine owners from Ghana, displaced princes from Tunisia, have tugged on your heartstrings, and of Liberian Master Sergeants or Iraqi refugees with fortunes spare, there has been no dearth. If you have not, then please emerge from the tree or cave you live in, beware of the Indian builder scam, and join the mainstream.
Welcome to the brave new world of internet scams. Every day another one, better than the last—and despite all the adverse publicity—managing to find fresh victims, just like in the fast food industry. There are websites devoted to telling you what to do if you fall prey to them, and then there are websites also telling you how to set them up, as well as enough statistics and data to make you wonder—if they could collect the information, couldn’t they, the law enforcement agencies, stop them too? Apt question—if all crime were suddenly magically wiped clean from the face of this earth and the screen of your computer, then what would they, the cops, do? Just doing bandobast and VVIP duty doesn't get them any real tangible benefits, though telling people to idhar jao, udhar jao must be fun—especially on sunny winter days.
Face it, internet crime, like all other crimes in the world, has arrived, and may very soon find an honourable place on the list of top-100 best corporate governance or turnover or other interesting aspects kind of business magazine lists, just like the AMRI hospital in Kolkata did. After that, if they haven’t done so already, then PR companies, publicists and lobbyists will complete the task, assuring all of us that internet crime is as safe and good for mankind as smoking single farm tobacco, eating refined flour cooked in double refined oil and using triple sets of mobile phones hooked to our ears all the time.
An interesting bit of information on internet crime is that the single largest source country for these scams appears to be the US, followed closely by UK, China and the rest. India is sometimes in the top-10, sometimes not, which appears to be, as always, a case of discrimination against India by the colonial powers trying to make their devilish presence back into India. Down with the imperialist running dogs, while at the same time, beware the red and yellow menace too. Maybe if we let unrestricted foreign direct investment (FDI) for retail into India, then, we might make the top-10. Imagine how wonderful that would be for the economy.
And now, one of the latest internet scams to come across our screens, has probably heard of the Honourable Kapil Sibal’s outburst against the vileness of all that happens on the Internet, which we are at times inclined to agree with—look at, for example, what passes of for news on some of the live television channels now also being replicated on the internet. If there is any rule of law in this country, then the first thing is that live television should be banned on the internet, we spend considerable energy and effort in switching the television off and now they have the same stuff on the internet? A time has come where if we really want to know what the news is, we have to go and see some newsworthy movies, like "Dirty Picture" for example. That is, certainly, extremely informative.
Thing is, unfortunately, these scams don't come with guarantees. Mostly. So when we received this new internet scam, we immediately thought about, what else, the guarantees our political parties make before elections. Here’s what this scam said: “NOTE: We are not personal but a big company. We have our company policy: If you need test before purchase, we need to see each other on webcam first, then we will consider your request and provide about 50,000 fresh samples. If you want to buy directly without test, webcam is not necessary.”
What the scam is in itself is not important. Nor do we really wish to popularise it. What is important is that we seem to have finally understood why our politicians want to control the internet. In reality, it seems they are worried about internet scams taking over their games, and if you read the message carefully again, you will understand—for all work, big or small, there has to be a face –to-face meeting.
You give the money in advance, no need of meeting, work will be done.
You want a guarantee, we need to see your face, analyse your payment capabilities—and you can pay afterwards, after a small sample.
Did internet scams like this learn from our politicians, or was it the other way around?