45. Reading Skills Comprehension: Ministry

By | July 27, 2023
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Read the Passage Carefully and Answers the Following Questions:-

The Commerce Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry differ on India’s negotiations at the recent WTO meeting. The Agriculture Ministry has prepared a note for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that says the WTO framework agreement that Commerce Minister signed in Geneva last month was a sellout. “Concessions” for India were still to be negotiated.

The agreement said the developed countries had agreed to eliminate all forms of Lxpon subsidies by an “end date”, which was not defined. The Agriculture Ministry’s contention is that in the absence of any “finality”, the developed countries’ commitments were meaningless.

Developed countries give subsidies of hundreds of billions of dollars every year to their farmers. resulting in artificially low prices for their agricultural exports.

 The “flexibility” given to India to continue with its export subsidies for a longer period is of no use because Indian exports and export subsidies are negligible.

India has, thus, agreed to open its border for US agricultural products, while the US has not said when its export subsidies will be taken out.

The Blue Box subsidies give US farmers incentive to keep their production within limits. While closing subsidies through one route, the US has got approval to continue them through another route. India gets nothing in the deal.

 Rich nations agreed they would cut domestic support to their farmers by 20 per cent “in the very first year itself’. Developing countries like India have been told they need not reduce the minimum support price to their “resource-poor” farmers.

 India was eligible to designate “an appropriate number of products as special products. based on the country’s food and livelihood security”. India could use the concession to put restrictions on the entry of such products. Pawar is telling the PM that without “specifying” the special products, the concession did not mean much.

1. On the basis of your reading of the above passage, make notes on it in points only, using headings and sub-headings. Also use recognizable abbreviations, wherever necessary. Supply a suitable title.

2. Write a summary of the above passage in about 50 words.


Title— Indian Agriculture

1. The agriculture ministry prepared a note

(a) For Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

(b) WTO framework agreement.

(c) Commerce minister’s decision in Geneva last month was a sellout.

2. The recent agreement.

(a) Scrutiny of the document

1. India had conceded.

2. US and EU made specific gains

 (b) Agreement by developed countries.

1. Hundreds of billions of dollars to farmers.

2. Resulting in artificially low prices.

3. Agricultural exports.

4. The flexibility is given to India to continue

(a) With export subsidies.

(b) For longer period is of no use, however.

 (c) Export subsidies are negligible.

4. Commerce Ministry Happy

 (a) India: Safe.

(b) Indian Tariffs are quite high.

 (c) Make India yield.

5. Rich nations agreed to cut domestic support

 (a) Farmers by 20%.

(b) Developing countries like India not to reduce the minimum support price.

(c) Resource-poor farmers.

2. Summary:

Agricultural Ministry is disturbed to note the performance of commerce minister at the recent WTO meet and has sent a representation to the Prime Minister. They objected to developed countries’ statement and called them meaningless as they were not properly defined. In India the subsidies given are negligible. India has agreed to open its borders for the US whereas the USA has not made its stance very clear. The terms ‘special product’ has also not been clearly defined. So in the absence of clearly defined terms, India is likely to face losses due to the agreement.

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