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wto: WTO meet may take up food products export ban

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NEW DELHI: The export ban on food products imposed by India and around 20 other countries is expected to figure during the WTO ministerial meeting that kicks off on Sunday with several members seeking checks on such curbs.
The issue is part of the security discussions that is currently under way, given the shortages being faced by several countries, particularly for wheat, as the Ukraine-Russia conflict has hit supplies from the two nations.
Following a crucial meeting of the General Council in Geneva, a WTO spokesperson said that members of the multilateral agency that sets global trade rules are trying to ensure that markets are kept open, while ensuring rights of members to meet their domestic needs.
The spokesperson said the rules permit members to impose restrictions to the extent they need to meet their critical food shortage, but it has emerged as a concern that may be addressed.
While several WTO members, led by Singapore whose airline moves the grains, are seeking that food security concerns are addressed through the World Food Programme, India believes that the plan will not meet the requirements. Besides, New Delhi has said that it is being unduly attacked for the restrictions imposed by it last month, which were meant to meet domestic requirements in the wake of lower output and a fall in procurement via the Food Corporation of India.



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