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PM: No FTAs till new govt comes in

No new Free Trade Agreement will be signed till the new government takes office in May. The directive has been issued by the PM in agreement with the model code of elections.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2009 16:14 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is believed to have directed all the ministries not to make any offers on free trade with any nation and refrain from signing any agreement till a new government takes office by May-end.

The Prime Minister's directive, which came after General Elections were announced, would postpone signing of the India-ASEAN and India-South Korea free trade pacts.

"Prime Minister has put an embargo on signing of any new FTAs or other trade agreements till a new government is in place," a senior commerce ministry official said, adding that the ministries have also been asked not to make any trade related offers during bilateral meetings with countries.

Many believe that the Prime Minister put an embargo on the FTAs as model code of elections had come into force and such important policy issues would need to be looked into after polls.

Commerce Minister Kamal Nath had said a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement between India and 10-nation economic bloc ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) could be signed in April.