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"Butter mountains’ and starving poor can’t exist together: PM

Tuesday 19 December 2006

NEW DELHI DECEMBER 18: Strongly opposing agriculture subsidies given by developed countries, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said, “The agricultural subsidies offered by developed industrial economies not only distort trade but destroy lives. We cannot continue to live in a world of butter mountains and rivers of milk, liberally funded by government subsidies, when poor starve in the villages of the third world.”

Addressing a seminar, Making Globalisation Work, the PM made it clear that India wants the success of forthcoming resumption of WTO talks but developed countries would have to give level playing field to developing and least developed countries. He indicated that developed countries would have to reduce agriculture subsidies first before expecting the third world to do so.

He also stressed on the importance of movement of people as developed countries become more restrictive with respect to immigration and movement of labour. He is of the view that the focus of ?globalisation’ and of a ?borderless world’, has largely been on the movement of goods, capital and, largely financial and logistical services so far. There is yet no framework for the movement of the people.

Not much attention has been paid to the politics of globalisation and its political management,” he said. “The UN could have been a political instrument of managing globalisation, but so far it has not succeeded. The UN would not be able to succeed either unless it reforms itself as an institution and its own management became more democratic and more representative.”

He said, “The government will continue to play an important role in a liberalised and ?borderless’ economy. But greater attention needs to be paid to the political management of globalisation. I do believe that even in a wholly globalised and integrated world, states have a role to play.” Globalisation must work for all, he said.

See online : The Indian Express

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