India demands special and differential treatment for small fishermen at WTO

India has demanded special and differential treatment for the country’s small fishermen at World Trade Organization. According to a report in the Business line (July 4, 2016), New Delhi has insisted the concession at a recent Geneva meeting.

The meeting was organized to design rules for a global agreement to check overfishing. India has also demanded capacity-building assistance to developing countries for its implementation.

Special and differential treatment under WTO gives special concessions to developing countries for giving subsidies and retaining permissible level of restrictions. Backwardness and subsistence agricultural practices are the main ground for providing special and differential treatment.

Aquatic statistics reveal that global main marine fish stocks are in steep decline, continuously pressured by overfishing and environmental degradation. Global efforts to stop overfishing were made at different forums but couldn’t succeed much.

“We were not averse to an international agreement to check over-fishing. But the small subsidies that we provide to our fishermen, many of whom operate on a subsistence level, need to be exempted.” – the Businessline quoted an official from Ministry of Commerce. 

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