India asks for waiver of intellectual property rights rights at G20

Chennai: India has sought waiver of intellectual property rights (IPR) and dismantling of new trade barriers in the fight against the Coivd-19 pandemic.

 The World Trade Organisation too found that tariffs on critical products to manufacture vaccines remain high and this might impede the flow of vaccines across borders.

Minister of commerce Piyush Goyal in his address to the G20 Trade and Investment Minister-ial Meeting in Naples, Italy, stressed on resolving supply side constraints of Covid-19 vaccines.

“Our response to the pandemic needs to ensure equitable access to vaccines and other Covid-19 related health products by ensuring quick resolution of the supply side constraints. One of the ways to demonstrate this is by accepting the Trips waiver proposal,” Goyal said.

The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights governs copyright, industrial designs, patents and protection of undisclosed information or trade secrets.

 India and South Africa had submitted a proposal in April suggesting a waiver for all WTO members on the implementation of certain provisions of the Trips agreement for the treatment of Covid-19 and made a revised submission in May.

“Apart from focusing on facilitating free flow of goods, I invite G20 countries to join in efforts to make health services accessible and more affordable by the citizens of the world by enabling free flow of health services,” he said.

Goyal also called for actively resolving new trade barriers like vaccine differentiations or Covid passports, which impose mobility restrictions and impede the movement of personnel needed for delivering critical services.

“Covid-19 crisis is a powerful reminder of our interconnectedness, and the need for a coordinated global strategy to overcome such an unprecedented public health situation,” he said.

The WTO in its report said that tariffs on critical products to manufacture vaccines remain high, especially in some developing countries, and this might impede the flow across borders.


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