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To address the concerns of developing countries in the proposal that tops the agenda of the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Bali ministerial, scheduled for early December, India has proposed changes in the trade facilitation agreement.
Negotiators from 159 countries have held several rounds of talks since September in Geneva to forge a consensus on the multilateral agreement. The trade facilitation agreement aims to smoothen cross-border trade by removing red tape, improving infrastructure and harmonising Customs procedures.
Seen as the developed countries' agenda, the emerging economies have sought relaxations in the legally binding clauses like clearing shipments within three hours.
India's Commerce Department has said that the Union government has informed WTO that there needs to be some restriction on the scope of expediting shipment, and should be only limited to air cargo and that too very urgent ones.