Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s criticism in America, WTO should also listen to other countries

Photo: PTI Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

India It is expected that the World Trade Organization (WTO) will become more progressive and give importance to countries with different views. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the US on Monday that WTO should give full opportunities to countries who hold different views. “I want the WTO to be more progressive, listen to all countries and be fair to all,” Sitharaman told the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a US-based think-tank.

It is important to listen to all countries

he/she further said, “I spent some time with the WTO when I was India’s commerce minister between 2014 and 2017. This gave more opportunity to listen to the opinion of those countries who wanted to say something different. “The Finance Minister said,” It would be useful to remember the words of US Commerce Minister Catherine Tai, which she said recently. What exactly are traditional business practices, what exactly is market liberalization? What will it mean in terms of duty reduction?

To what extent should the market be liberalised?

he/she further said, “It is time countries are considering the extent to which market liberalization should take place. It has had adverse effects on the US economy in terms of costs and the US Commerce Secretary has rightly said the same. What he/she felt, I felt in 2014 and 2015. Although my point did not find this place in the global media. Many less developed countries, which are called Global South countries (Latin America, Africa, Asia and Oceania), believe the same. “The Finance Minister said,” What is this really? What is the extent of liberalisation? What should be the duty cut? India is doing this for the less developed countries ie ‘Global South’. India has a quota-free, duty-free trade policy for least developed countries. So these countries which are aspirational but have low income group can export to India without these restrictions.

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India’s focus now on skilling people, digitization

Nirmala Sitharaman said that India has almost achieved its goal of providing basic amenities to all the people of the country and now the focus is on skilling them and digitizing them to bring ease of living and transparency. Speaking at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a US-based think-tank, Sitharaman said the government wants to empower poor people by providing them basic facilities. he/she said, “We have almost achieved our target in terms of providing basic facilities.” The Finance Minister said that the Government of India wants to provide many facilities to the poor of the country. he/she said, “We want them to be given pucca houses to live in, piped drinking water to reach them, electricity, good roads. The Finance Minister said that now the focus is on skilling the people. “Now we are focusing on skilling people. Skill centers are now all over the country. The skill level varies from person to person. It is also connecting businesses and private sector entrepreneurs so that there is a link between the people who are getting trained and the kind of trained people that businesses want.

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