piyush goyal: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal slams rich nations on subsidies for fisheries

GENEVA: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday attacked developed countries for proposing to limit the subsidies of developing and poor nations, including India, while ensuring that they are not significantly hit by the proposed agreement at the WTO.
Indian officials said that developed countries, as well as some of the developing ones, were providing massive subsidies to their fishermen, who often go beyond their waters to tap the resource, resulting in widespread depletion. “I strongly feel that this outcome of the exercise being carried out now, has not provided a level-playing field to the developing nations to address the aspirations of the traditional fishers and their livelihood.
Several million fishers, nearly 9 million families in India depend on assistance and support from the government, albeit very small which I just demonstrated, for their livelihood. “Any decision not to provide space for small-scale and traditional fishers to expand their capabilities would only rip away their future opportunities,” Goyal said, adding that the proposal does not address India’s concerns.
India’s key concern is a longer transition period – 25 years – to meet the requirements, something that the developed country members are unwilling to provide. Sections in the government are of the view that India should not sign the agreement till its concerns are met as it impacts the Rs 20,000-crore PM Matsya Sampada Yojana.

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