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|March 15, 1999||
RSS calls for review of WTO provisions
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
The provisions laid down by the World Trade Organisation for member nations came in for criticism at the three-day national convention of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh that concluded in Lucknow on March 13. The meet also lambasted multi-national companies for throttling the domestic industry, particularly in the consumer goods sector.
RSS national joint secretary-general K C Sudarshan said that the meet has resolved to urge the WTO to make suitable amendments and changes in the provisions that are detrimental to the sovereignty and interest of member nations.
"We have arrived at the conclusion that the WTO functions on the lines prescribed by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which are ideologically tuned only to safeguard the interests of developed nations, often at the expense of developing ones," Sudarshan said.
Calling upon developing nations "to get together to counter the onslaughts of MNCs", Sudarshan clarified: "We are not scared of MNCs, but what we would want is a level playing field for the domestic industry." He went on to add: "The trouble is that even though our products are capable of matching international standards, MNCs score ahead largely on account of their capacity to spend huge amounts on advertising and publicity."
"The shattered economies of southeast Asian countries have thoroughly exposed the hollowness of the WTO and other multi-national agencies' claim that their prescription would result in a faster economic growth," one of the main resolutions passed at the meet noted.
Lashing out at the USA for unduly influencing the WTO, the resolution added: "America has declared that in case of any conflict between the provisions of the WTO and the American laws, the latter will prevail; however, the same right was not extended to other countries. So much so that even Europe has complained against this before the Disputes Redressal Tribunal."
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