The Telegraph
Wednesday , July 23 , 2014
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India Inc backs deal

Birla: Taking a stand

New Delhi, July 22: India Inc is in favour of the government going ahead with the WTO trade facilitation agreement as it will lower transaction cost and improve export competitiveness.

“We certainly feel that through Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), we will be able to see a significant reduction in the transactions cost involved in trading across borders. This is good for both trade and enterprise in India and we expect the government to take a considered view on signing of this agreement,” Sidharth Birla, president, Ficci said.

He said “the benefits that would accrue to Indian industry in the long term following this agreement would be sizeable and would help improve competitiveness of our exports.”

The cabinet meeting tomorrow is expected take a call on the agreement. It comes close to the July 31 deadline for the ratification on the protocol of the trade facilitation agreement. The pact will be implemented from 2015.

The WTO’s two-day general council meeting begins Thursday. Commerce ministry officials said they had worked out a hard bargaining strategy to ensure a permanent solution on food subsidies.

India has vehemently opposed the process of implementation of the WTO’s Bali agreements, which include the facilitation pact permanent solution on public stock holding of foodgrains and issues pertaining to least developed countries (LDCs).