India is negotiating with the likes of Australia, Japan and Switzerland over a proposal it has submitted along with South Africa in the WTO, by which all WTO members would get a temporary waiver on implementation of intellectual property rights so as to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
This proposal was first submitted in October 2020, and resubmitted in May of 2021 with 62 co-sponsors, including Indonesia, South Africa and India.
Yet many countries have raised pertinent doubts regarding this proposal, stating that there are already flexibilities present in the TRIPs agreement in the form of voluntary licensing and compulsory license which can help to alleviate the pandemic situation.
Sponsors of the bill point out that in the low income nations of the world, only 4.5 % of the population has been vaccinated, which means that the present flexibilities in the TRIPs agreement are insufficient.
Also, India has pointed out that the proposal is merely calling for a temporary waiver of the provisions, since this would aid in speeding up vaccination drives and reviving the global economy.
These deliberations now hold importance as the 12th ministerial conference of WTO is scheduled from November 30 to December 3, Times of India reports.
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