US questions India on its domestic support programmes
India was also asked to provide percentage of landholding that is pooled, the average size of the combined pooled landholdings, the number of farmers in a single landholding 'pooled' system etc by the US.
Geneva: The US posed a salvo of questions to India on its domestic support programmes, including its cotton policies, minimum support price, public stockholding for food security purposes and landholding pooling by Indian farmers, in a meeting at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva.
The US asked India "whether state bonus or other state-level funding is included in the notification by India under public stockholding for food security purposes" in a Committee of Agricultural regular session meeting.
India had notified $13,812.46 in the period 2010-2011 for public stockholding.
These questions were posed at a regular session meeting of the Committee of Agriculture held yesterday which debates the farm policies of member states.
Additionally, the US questioned the factors which required raising of Minimum Support Price (MSP) of cotton when there was reduced import demand in China and falling world cotton prices.
The US also asked India to delineate "what factors [apart from landholding size] contributed to India's assessment that two hectares was an appropriate basis for determining which farmers received debt waivers versus debt relief".
India was also asked to provide percentage of landholding that is pooled, the average size of the combined pooled landholdings, the number of farmers in a single landholding "pooled" system etc by the US.
The US said that according to official state agencies' and media reports state bonuses apart from applied
administered prices were provided in many states and that "trillions of rupees are expended each year paying state bonuses for the procurement of wheat and rice alone".
These questions were not circulated before and were presented by the US directly in the meeting.
According to a WTO official, the Indian delegates said that they will give the answers within the required time frame while the US said that it would like responses from India no later than 1 August.
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