(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)
On 2nd May, 2005 at the OECD & G-20 meeting in Paris Mr. Kamal Nath, Union Commerce Minister said- “INDIA COULD COOPERATE WITH DEVELOPED COUNTRIES ON AGRICULTURE, IF THEY COOPERATE WITH INDIA ON NON AGRICULTURE MARKET ACCESS (NAMA) AND SERVICES”.
From Doha-1995 to Geneva-2004, the ten years long treacherous journey for India as a founder member of W.T.O. has proved all alluring and illusive specially for its agro-rural sector. The Uruguay round of negotiations preceding to Doha Declaration has been a sordid saga of bureaucratic muddle by the Indian negotiators.
The Govt. was misled into signing the Doha Declaration on the dotted lines, compromising national interest that landed India inextricably trapped into the sinister machination of WTO having the back-up of super economic giants. Counterpositioning India's strategy and economic interest must be termed as the worst form of bureaucratic impropriety which can never the condoned.
It is not a strange coincidence but a reality that the more they compromised national interest the more they were rewarded. Otherwise, how one can explain that Mr. Anwar Hoda, who was Special Secretary, Ministry of Commerce in 1988 and chief negotiator for India during the Uruguay round, got the plum post of Deputy Director General, GATT and right now he is serving as member, Planning Commission.
Mr. A.N. Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce led the delegation to Geneva in April, 1989. Taking advantage of the then prevailing political situation, Mr. Verma told Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister that since dispute settlement mechanism in the new agenda for the Uruguay round had been strengthened, therefore, it should be accepted.
Accordingly, as advised by Mr. Ahluwalia, the Prime Minister agreed to accept the new agenda which included I.P.R., Services, Investment and Domestic Policy related to agriculture. Mr. Verma was later promoted to the rank of Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. Mr. A.V. Ganeshan, who was Secretary, Commerce in December 1993 during the final act of Uruguay round, toe-toed the line of his predecessor and after retirement he was rewarded as the panel member of the dispute settlement body.
Mr. Narendra Sawarwal was Joint Secretary (Patent) in the Industry Dept. in early 1990. A bureaucrat belonging to the same bunch of thought, he was rewarded with the position of Director of Asia Pacific Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). At the moment he is enjoying as its Senior Director. Mr. Pushpender Rai now working as the Director of WIPO was the Joint Secretary (Patent) in the Industry Dept. in mid 1990. Likewise Dr. Jaiyia served as Director, Ministry of Industries dealing with Patent Matters. Now he is enjoying his stint in WIPO.
Mrs. Jaishree Watal was the Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, during the Uruguay round negotiations. Now, she is enjoying her assignation in the WTO. Media exposure of Mr. A.E. Ahmad, Joint Secretary, Industry Dept. (Patent) who did a U-turn and compromised government’s actual position to support the WIPO Director General’s Patent Agenda during the WIPO assembly last year and his questionable role in the Patent Amendment Bill-IInd and IIIrd Amendment failed him from being rewarded like others.
Before the Uruguay round, only two issues-Trade and Goods formed the agenda for bilateral or multilateral negotiations. But it was the collaborative venture of these gentlemen which brought various other non-conventional matters in the Uruguay round agenda. India and Brazil led the third world in the Uruguay round negotiations during 1986-96. We have seen the angry outcry and protest against the outrageous and unequal globalisation through the machination of WTO.
The stiff resistance put against the Doha declaration in Montreal by people from across the world will go down in the annals of our times as the largest human mobilisation of the sort. We call upon the Govt. to put up white paper in Parliament pertaining to WTO negotiations. The Govt. should also put stringent moratorium for at least five years, banning all bureaucrats from joining any pecuniary position anywhere who are involved in WTO negotiations.
(Editorial : Farmers' Forum Magazine)