New Delhi: India is working with the WTO members to ensure an early permanent solution on the food security issue, parliament was informed Wednesday.
"India is working with the WTO members to ensure a permanent solution at the earliest," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Ending months-long deadlock, the WTO in November last year acceded to India's demand to remove constraints on the food stockpiling issue. The WTO's General Council, the highest decision making body of the organisation, had accepted India's demand for extending the peace clause till a permanent solution is found for its food stockpiling issue.
This has enabled India to continue procurement and stocking of foodgrain for distribution to poor under its food security programme without attracting any kind of action from WTO members even if it breaches the 10 per cent subsidy cap as prescribed by the multilateral trade body.
For a permanent solution, India had proposed either amending the formula to calculate the food subsidy cap of 10 percent which is based on the reference price of 1986-88 or allowing such schemes outside the purview of subsidy caps.
If no solution is found by the agreed deadline of December 31, the peace clause will continue till the time a solution is found.
Replying to a separate question on STC, she said that there are large outstanding receivables by the State Trading Corporation (STC) from some parties.
The outstanding receivable amount is over Rs 20 crore as on March 31.