- The World Trade Organization(WTO) has set up panels to rule on complaints by Australia,Brazil and Guatemala against India’s export subsidies for sugar and sugarcane producers.
- The three countries have claimed that India provides trade-distorting production subsidies including soft loans and subsidies to maintain stocks of sugar and tax rebates.
- Australia has held India responsible for contributing to oversupply in the international sugar market.The production of sugar in India has increased from 22 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 34 million tonnes in 2017-18 thereby contributing to a surplus of 12 million tonnes.
- Brazil has charged India with intensifying various support programmes for the sugar sector including higher minimum prices for sugarcane. Brazil has said that mandating the mills to export 5 million tonnes of sugar has led to substantial pricing pressures on world market prices.
- However,India has disagreed with the claims made by the three countries.It said that its sugar-support programmes are aimed at assisting over 35 million vulnerable low-income resource-poor farmers to have a just and equitable share in economic development.
- Further,India has also maintained that its measures were consistent with global trade rules, and did not create any adverse effect in the global sugar market.
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