Food Security
UN supports India's demands from WTO and says food security more important than creating jobs.Reuters

World Health Organization's (WTO) plans on moving ahead with the customs deal meant to create thousands of jobs was criticised by the United Nations' agricultural agency which feels India's food security demand needs prior attention.

UN's specialized agency International Fund for Agricultural Development's (IFAD) President Kanayo F Nwanze, during his five-day visit to India, said that it is important to ensure food for people rather than creating jobs.

"Creating jobs for some other country, while people are still hungry, doesn't make sense... If I was in the position of feeding my own family or creating jobs for someone else, what would I do? What would you do?" PTI quoted him.

Nwanze supported India's insistence on stockpiling food grains more than it does under the present WTO rules and stated that "every government has the responsibility to ensure that it can feed its own people".

Nigel Brett, IFAD's Country Director for India, also supported India's stance on the matter and said that India needs to focus more on feeding its people first.

"You have a population of 1.2 billion people. You have a mammoth task in your hand of feeding people... in this case government has to do everything what it can do to feed its population in the interest..." he said.

India on Thursday blocked WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by refusing to sign it ahead of the deadline, and instead offered a modified demand with a broader alternative to the previous one.

It asked WTO to amend the norms for calculating food subsidies, following which the age old 1986-88 subsidy limit would be modified. Consequently, India would be eligible to accumulate more food grains at a value lower than the current 10 percent of total production value.

The demands were reportedly made in the wake of inflation, currency movements and various other factors.