The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Accountants for separate ministry on WTO issues

New Delhi, Feb. 19: The Committee on Trade Laws and WTO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has come up with a suggestion document that, among other things, prescribes a separate ministry for WTO-related matters.

ďA separate ministry for WTO will be able to bridge the gap between the lack of co-ordination among the various ministries. A focused approach on WTO will give better results,Ē said Sunil Bhargava, chairman of ICAIís Committee on Trade Laws (CTL) and WTO.

Bhargava said at present about 26 ministries need to be consulted for matters related to services. When some of the ministries do not respond properly, things are held back. A separate ministry with extended arms to network with all concerned ministries for a set objective can yield better results. At present, WTO matters are within the purview of the commerce ministry.

The document, which will be officially released on February 22 by Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, postulates what India should do on the various agreements in WTO.

In the document, the committee has expressed the concerns and the possible solutions in the areas of anti-dumping, anti-subsidy, safeguards, agriculture, textiles and clothing.

Some of the other issues include ó trade related intellectual property rights (TRIPs), custom valuation, competition policy, GATS (General Agreement on Trade and Services) and trade negotiations.

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