Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said that he disfavoured suggestions that India should walk out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because of the high agricultural subsidies that develop countries have in their countries.
He disclosed in his recent book, Fast Forward, that agricultural subsidies in the west had prompted suggestions for India to step out of the WTO.
"Such a step would be self-defeating. We would be singled out and left without support," he said in the book, based on interviews with Pawar, released after the collapse of the Doha trade in Geneva talks in July with India and the US deadlocked over safeguards for farmers in the developing countries.
Pawar said that India could not afford to leave the WTO as it has already taken a lead in securing agreements in manufactured products like textiles, medicines, engineering and even milk products, and sugar.
He said while agricultural subsidies were supported by most of the leading nations, their number has dwindled.implying that over the next four or five years subsidies would definitely be on their way out.
He said that with a high labour power India would be able to "excel" in global competitiveness once agricultural subsidies were done away with, Pawar says in his book, underscoring the importance of the world market for Indian farm products like sugar.
He also says unless their was access to the world market Indian produce would not be sold. "How will our domestic producers survive then?" he asks in his book.
According to Pawar if a country wanted to access the global market it also had to adhere to global rules, and accordingly India should be prepared to provide its market to others.
India's external trade in merchandise exports alone is expected to be over $500 billion in 2008-09.