New: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his impending visit to Bangkok next month to attend a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meet, saying that the RCEP was the ‘third major jolt’ to the country after demonetisation and the ‘botched’ Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The Congress veteran’s statement comes just days after he said the same thing on his Twitter account.

On Friday, addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters, Ramesh said, “After demonetisation and GST, it will be the third big jolt to our economy when the Prime Minister will go to Bangkok the next month and express India’s agreement to Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.”

He added, “It will result in liberalisation in imports from China. We don’t know what was discussed in Wuhan or Mahabalipuram but we can see the results, there’ll be liberalisation in imports from China. ‘Made in India’ is not mentioned now. It’ll encourage ‘Made in China’.”

Earlier this month, CPI MP Binoy Biswam, too, had written to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal asking him to convene an urgent session of the Parliament, before its winter session, to discuss the impact of RECP on India.

Experts argue that the RCEP is harmful to India as, under it, duty-free imported milk from Australia and New Zealand would enter India at extremely cheap rates, thus harming the dairy sector, that too at a time when cheaper imports are already a concern to the manufacturing sector.

The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between 10 member states of the ASEAN and its six FTA partners (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand).