New Delhi: Communist Party of India (CPI) MP Binoy Viswam on Saturday wrote to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal urging him to hold an urgent session of the Parliament before the Winter session to discuss the impact of RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) on India.
The development comes amid reports that those in the dairy sector are worried that its inclusion in the RCEP, will harm the India market. This, they believe, is because such a move lead to duty-free imported milk from countries like Australia and New Zealand enter India at extremely cheap rates.
In the letter, the Rajya Sabha MP, calling the ongoing negotiations in the three-day summit being held in Thai capital Bangkok, ‘detrimental’, urged the Commerce Minister to desist from participating in the same. Taking a jibe at the ‘nationalistic’ government, he asked how such a government could go ahead with a negotiation that would be harmful to over 7.5 crore agricultural families in the country.
He further said that the government’s move to enter a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with 16 countries would harm the economy which is already undergoing a crisis. This, the MP, wrote was because the FTA covers not just the dairy sector but several other sectors too, on which it will have a negative impact.
He further accused the government of keeping Parliament in dark over the issue and urged Goyal, a fellow Rajya Sabha MP, to call for an urgent session of the Parliament to exclusively discuss the issue before the start of the Winter session.
The Union Minister is representing India in the summit, which began on October 10.
The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its six FTA partners (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand).