Govt focusing on RCEP, not economy, says Congress
RCEP, a mega free trade agreement, is being negotiated among 10 ASEAN countries with their six free trade agreement (FTA) partners — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The proposed deal is expected to be finalised and signed by the next month.Updated: Oct 26, 2019, 01:31 IST
The Congress on Friday said it was opposed to the Narendra Modi government’s proposal on signing free trade agreement under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
“The government is not concentrating to address the difficulties of the common people and all sectors of the Indian economy. When people are suffering even to manage their day to day life, instead of speedy solution and a package and a programme for economic revival, they are now spending time to discuss on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement,” said senior Congress leader A K Antony.
RCEP, a mega free trade agreement, is being negotiated among 10 ASEAN countries with their six free trade agreement (FTA) partners — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The proposed deal is expected to be finalised and signed by the next month.
The Congress decision came after a party meeting chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday. Top leaders, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ahmed Patel, AK Antony, Jyotiraditya Scindia, among others attended the meeting during which the issue of RCEP was discussed at length.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the signing of the RCEP will have a lot of consequences for the Indian economy. “India’s trade deficit is $120 billion, if we go ahead with the free trade agreement via RCEP, it will worsen further,” he claimed.
Senior party leader Jairam Ramesh said that this will be “the third blow” to the economy after demonetisation and a “hastily-implemented GST [Goods and Services Tax]”.
Ramesh said that RCEP will liberalise imports from China. “We do not know what happened in Wuhan and Mahabalipuram, but this is happening after the meeting of Wuhan and Mahabalipuram. This is going to encourage Made in China,” he said.