In the backdrop of a political intrigue surrounding the
World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) final Ministerial Declaration at the
recently-concluded meet in the Kenyan capital, Commerce Minister, is likely
to make a statement in Parliament tomorrow on what the ‘Nairobi package’
means for India.
The minister will be making her statement amidst claims
by international trade experts and civil society groups that the December
15- 19 Nairobi Ministerial Conference outcomes favoured rich countries and
reflected “the capitulation to insistent U.S. proposals.”
Trade experts and NGOs have also said the ‘Nairobi
package’ has “effectively killed” the fundamental objective of the WTO’s
Doha Round negotiations, which was to improve the trading prospects of the
developing and the poor world, or in other words a ‘development agenda.’
The final overall Nairobi Ministerial Declaration, on
measures to lower global trade barriers, would not have been announced
without the consent by all the WTO member countries.
The developing and the poor world wanted the Doha Round
to continue till all out- standing issues, including on protection of poor
farmers and food sovereignty, are re- solved.
But the rich countries wanted the Round to end and had
sought the introduction of new issues that are of their interests, including
e-commerce, global value chains, competition laws, labour, environment and
Government’s disinvestment kitty has almost doubled this
year with over Rs.35,000 crore garnered through PSU share sales, but not
without the help of its all- time saviour LIC, while a strong pipeline is
ready for 2016 with bluechips such as NTPC, Coal India and ONGC.
At a record high of Rs.35,236 crore ($5.3 billion), the
total funds collected by the government through part- sale of its stake in
the ‘family silver’ PSUs during 2015 marks a huge jump from about Rs.18,000
raised in the previous year.
The disinvestment proceeds stood at about Rs.22,000 crore
in the year 2013.
Targeting at least Rs.50,000 crore of funds from sale of
the PSU shares in 2016, the government will look for right market conditions
and positive global cues to resume its disinvestment drive in the new year
as it looks to garner the much-needed resources to meet the deficit targets.