ri  lt re and ood         ana ement    8.47
     disease control, research and extension, and some               s&D box
     direct payments to farmers that do not stimulate
                                                                     Other than the above-discussed highly
     production like restructuring of agriculture,                   controversial boxes of agricultural subsidies, the
     environmental protection, regional development,                 WTO provisions have defined yet another box,
     crop and income insurance, etc.                                 i.e., the Social and Development Box (S & D
          The green box subsidies are allowed without                Box)75 allows the developing countries for some
     limits provided they comply with the policy-                    subsidies to the agriculture sector under certain
     specific criteria.71 It means, this box is exempt from          conditions. These conditions revolve around
     the calculation under subsidies under the WTO                   human development issues such as poverty,
     provisions because the subsidies under it are not               minimum social welfare, health support, etc.,
     meant to promote production thus do not distort                 specially for the segment of population living
     trade. That is why this box is called ‘production-              below the poverty line. Developing countries can
     neutral box’. But the facts tell a different story.72           forward such subsidies to the extent of less than 5
          In the current negotiations, some countries                per cent of their total agricultural output.76
     argue that some of the subsidies forwarded under
     this box (by the developed economies) do seriously
                                                                     exPort subsiDies
     distort trade (opposed to the view of minimal                   For export subsidy the WTO has provisions in
     distortion as used by Annexure 2)— it is the view               two categories:
     of the developing countries. These countries have                     (i) Reduction in the total budgetary support
     raised their fingers on the direct payments73 given                       on export subsidies, and
     by the developed countries to their farmers via                      (ii) Reduction in the total quantity of exports
     programmes like income insurance and income-                              covered by the subsidy.
     safety schemes,74 environmental protection, etc.                      Higher reduction commitment for the
     Some other countries take the opposite view and                 developed countries and lower for the developing
     argue that the current criteria are adequate, and               countries are the provisions. But the developed
     advocate to make it more flexible (so that it could             nations forward such an inflated support to their
     be increased) to take better care of non-trade                  agricultural exports that even after the committed
     concerns such as environmental protection and                   reductions it will be highly price distorting against
     animal welfare.                                                 the agri-exports of the developing countries. It is
                                                                     therefore opposed by the developing countries.
       71.  WTO, Annexure 2, AoA, AoA, 1994.
       72.  Basically, a large part of this box is used by the
            farmers in the USA and the European Union as basic       sAnitAry AnD PhytosAnitAry meAsures
            investments in agriculture. India as well as other like- The provisions of the WTO allow member
            minded countries have this view and want this box to
            be brought under the AMS i.e. under the reduction        countries to set their own health and safety
            commitments. The USA at the Hongkong Ministerial         standards provided they are justified on scientific
            meet (December 2005) announced to abolish such
                                                                     grounds and do not result in arbitrary or unjustified
            subsidies in the next 12 year commencing 2008. The EU
            also proposed to reduce its trade distorting su sidies   barrier to trade. The provisions encourage use of
            by 70 per cent. None of them used the name green box     international standards and also include certain
            which shows some internal vagueness.
       73.  WTO, Para 5, Green Box, AoA, 1994.                         75.    WTO, Para 8, Green Box, AoA, 1994.
       74.  WTO, Para 7, Green Box, AoA, 1994.                         76.    WTO, Article 6.2, AoA, 1994.