Several WTO members have said that they are worried about India’s position, but an official said that the country has stuck to its decision not to let wheat and rice leave the country.
During a conference last week in Geneva, Senegal, the US and the European Union questioned this choice and said it would hurt international markets.
India prohibited wheat exports in May to increase domestic supply. It also stopped the export of broken rice this month and put a 20% export tax on all rice other than Basmati rice that wasn’t parboiled. This was done to make up for the fact that the amount of land planted with paddy has gone down during the current kharif season.
India said that the ban on exporting broken rice, which is used to feed chickens, was because the number of exports of the grain had recently gone up, which put pressure on the domestic market.
Concerns over food security prompted export restrictions for wheat.
The official said, “India has also made it clear that the measures are temporary and will be looked at again in the future.”
The official went on to say, “Senegal, which buys a lot of broken rice and other rice products from India, asked India to keep trading in these hard times so that there would be enough food.”
The US, Australia, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand, Paraguay, Thailand, Australia, Uruguay, the US, Australia, Canada, Brazil, and Japan requested talks with India regarding the use of the peace clause to protect its food programmes from action resulting from trade disputes at the summit.
India used the peace clause a third time in April after going over the 10% cap on the assistance it provides to rice farmers. It told the World Trade Organization that it had used the WTO’s “peace clause” to give rice farmers extra support measures for the marketing years 2020–21. This was done to meet the food security needs of its poor people.
The peace clause prohibits WTO members from bringing a case against poor nations that violate the agreed-upon subsidy ceiling before the WTO’s dispute settlement body. Subsidies that go beyond the allowed ceiling are viewed as distorting trade. For developing nations like India, the cap is set at 10% of the value of food output.
India has made a solid case for resolving the problem permanently, but so far, nothing has changed.