Was India Required To Cut Its Tariffs On Agricultural Products As A Result Of The Uruguay Round Of Agriculture Negotiations
Uruguay Round participants agreed that developed countries would cut their committed bound tariffs by an average of 36%, in equal steps over six years. Developing countries had to reduce their bound tariffs by 24% in 10 years. Several developing countries like India used the option of offering ceiling tariff rates rather than tariffication. India opted to do so because it was maintaining quantitative restrictions on account of Balance of Payment problems, which were eliminated in March 2001. At the end of the Uruguay Round, India had bound its tariffs on most items, at 100% for primary products, 150% for processed products and 300% for edible oils. Bound tariffs on some products (comprising about 119 tariff lines) were lower since they were historically bound at a lower level in the earlier Rounds of multilateral trade negotiations. Subsequently, however, negotiations were conducted under GATT Article XXVIII and the binding levels were revised upwards in December 1999 on 15 tariff lines including skimmed milk powder, spelt wheat, paddy, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, rape, colza and mustard oil, fresh grapes etc.
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