The Bali Package

For India, the victory at WTO on food security for developing countries was particularly sweet as it managed to have its way despite major players China and Brazil backing out, leaving South Africa as the only major ally along with Argentina and some large African countries such as Kenya and Nigeria.
But the result was not easy as India shrugged off pressure and stuck to its demand. Trade ministers spent the last four days trying to bridge differences over a trade deal that has remained elusive for years. The Bali package, as it is being called, is the first success in the Doha Round of negotiations that started 12 years ago with a view to help developing and poor countries.
While members have virtually accepted the draft circulated by WTO, an endorsement is seen as a formality. As demanded by India, developing countries will now be able to continue with their public procurement programmes without fearing a possible breach in the ceiling.
A ruling in its favour will help the government roll out the food security law without any hurdles as procurement hiccups could have impacted the implementation of UPA’s flagship scheme. Although India has still not exceeded the 10% limit, higher minimum support price and increased quantities of purchases are pushing up the domestic subsidy level as 1986-88 prices are used to calculate the level of support.
Civil society groups, however,pointed out that developing countries can still be dragged to WTO seeking penalties for violation of rules on subsidies. The government, however, refuted the charges. Countering their other charge, Sharma later told reporters that there are no restrictions on launching new food security schemes. To get the food subsidy benefits, the government will have to comply with conditions such as the support offered by it and if it is nearing the 10% limit. In addition, the benefit will be available for all crops.
There were other gains for the developing countries such as Brazil, China and India to be more competitive in international markets. 

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