CUTS IN MEDIA-March 2007

 



State-Level workshop of CUTS CART
Nafa Nuksan, 28 March 2007

Saving Doha WTO Seminar Evokes Farmers Protests
 New Delhi, 12 March 2007

PRI contribution to rural sector sought
 Hindustan Times, Jaipur, 2 March 2007

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State-Level workshop of CUTS CART

Nafa Nuksan, 28 March 2007

Saving Doha WTO Seminar Evokes Farmers Protests
 

New Delhi, 12 March 2007
India

An International seminar organized by the Commerce Ministry of India under the banner of 'Saving Doha and Delivering on Development' evoked protests from several groups including farmers, students unions and civil society organisations. As ministers, corporate lobbyists, academicians and bureaucrats met in the expensive Maurya Sheraton hotel in New Delhi, hundreds of activists congregated outside the hotel demanding their voices be heard. Reports indicate that 200 activists have been arrested and detained at the nearby Chanakya Puri police station. Those arrested include activists from the Bharatiya Kisan Union, Housing Rights Association, Peoples Campaign for Justice and Sovereignty, Youth for Justice and Slum Dwellers Association. The meeting was co-organised along with groups such as UNCTAD, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Oxfam International, National Council for Applied Economic Research and CUTS International. The intention was to identify the key parameters to serve the so called 'development imperatives' of the Doha Round.

Time is not on our side. The credibility of the WTO is at stake and India is a key player to breaking the deadlock, said WTO Director General Pascal Lamy. WTO talks commenced in February 2007 after the July 2006 collapse.

Commerce Minister Kamal Nath in his opening address stated that India will not be party to an outcome that sustained prosperity in the developed countries at the cost of livelihoods of its farmers. 'A one size fits all approach was not acceptable and we need a genuine development outcome from the talks, he argued.

'This is empty rhetoric. A development outcome that meets the needs of small and marginal farmers is impossible within the WTO framework. Studies by the World Bank and Carnegie Foundation show that there are no or minimal gains to developing countries from the conclusion of the Doha Round, said Devinder Sharma from the New Delhi based Forum for Bio Technology and Food Security. These studies indicate that per year gains for all 110 developing countries in the WTO would amount to a total of only 35,000 crore rupees. The insignificance of this amount is evident by the fact that India's Rural Development Ministry has a budget of 65,000 crore rupees a year. 'This meeting has completely ignored farmers groups in the country', said Yudvir Singh of the Bahratiya Kisan Union, speaking from the police station where he was detained by the Delhi police. 'Pascal Lamy, corporate lobbyists and Commerce Ministry officials are sitting together to sell out Indian agriculture', said Singh.

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PRI contribution to rural sector sought
 

Hindustan Times, Jaipur, 2 March 2007
India

EXPERTS, AT the State-level launch and brainstorming workshop titled ‘Promoting Greater Role of the Panchayati Raj Institution in Rajasthan to Foster Rural Livelihood Opportunities Meeting the challenges of Globalisation and Economic Liberalisation.’ Unanimously agreed to promote rural livelihood, particularly the non-farm sector.

Addressing the gathering, Consultant Economist Prof CS Barla and RUDA executive director Rajan Mathur chaired the technical sessions on the pro-active role of PRIs in the sector’s existing threats and opportunities
respectively.

CUTS Centre for Consumer Action Research and Training (CUTS CART), Jaipur is implementing it in Rajasthan organized the event here on Thursday. Rural Non-farm Development Agency chairman and managing director Rohit R Brandon focused on strategies to eradicate poverty in rural communities.

He said that the non-farm sector (handloom and handicraft) should be promoted by community participation and assuring access to adequate market of the product particularly and highlighted the need for developing a community public private partnership (CPPP) model in the non-farm sector. Jaipur Zila Parishad Zila Pramukh Ram Gopal Guard said that there was an urgent need for implementation of programmes and policies in rural areas. Also the involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions was also needed.

Handloom and handicraft activities could be one of the ways for revival of the rural economy and eradication of joblessness and poverty, he added.

CUTS CART associate director George Cheriyan said that Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, High Commission of Canada, New Delhi has supported this project.

The inputs received from the workshop will help in designing the slot cum base line survey and training modules, he said.

Among those who took part included representatives from the CSO, non-government organisations and concerned agencies, private entrepreneurs (domestic exporters), self-help groups (SHGs) leaders, representatives of different producer/community groups from the rural areas, small-scale industries national and international trade promotional agencies.

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D–217, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park, Jaipur 302 016, Rajasthan, India
Ph: 91.141.2282821, Fax: 91.141.2282485

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