WTO and Agricultural Policy in Karnataka
The Hong Kong round of the WTO negotiations sharpened the debate on many trade issues and brought forth subsidies and market access under sharp focus. In the Indian federal context, trade policy has remained a prerogative of the Central Government, often taking the State policies for granted. In this paper, an attempt is made to look at the impact of the WTO from the State’s perspective and the policy response. Karnataka being one of the States in the forefront, we have taken a case study of Karnataka to highlight the State-specific issues. Trade in agriculture is emerging as a strong growth buster in Karnataka. The participation of Karnataka in international trade is proactive as also the preparations by the State in ascertaining the impact of WTO on its agricultural sector. In order to carry forward the same tempo in the future it becomes essential to fine-tune the balance between domestic demand, exportable surplus and import trends delineating the implications of WTO for its primary producers, traders and consumers. The SWOT analysis based on the interviews of the stakeholders brings forth the future policy paradigm and implications of WTO regime suggesting in-built solutions to the needs of the State’s short and long-term perspectives.
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