Keep dairy products out of RCEP, says Siddaramaiah

1:07 PM, Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
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SiddaramaiahBengaluru : As India is on the cusp of signing a massive free-trade agreement known as The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership involving 16 nations that are home to nearly 50% of the world’s population, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah in a series of tweet opposing the agreement said that centre’s proposal to sign free trade agreement of dairy products under RCEP is against the interests of the farmers of our Nation.

Taking to twitter Siddaramaiah wrote, “More than 10 Cr farmers are dependent on dairy farming for their livelihood. Import of cheap products will hurt them and inturn cause rural distress. Karnataka alone produces more than 86 lakh litres of milk and other dairy products.”

Siddaramaiah further added, “Under Ksheera Dhare, we had increased the subsidy to producers to ₹5 per ltr. We also launched Ksheera Bhagya to ensure full utilisation of excess milk & address malnourishment issues in Children. FTA will only nullify all these.”

“Dairy products of Australia & New Zealand are much cheaper which will make it difficult for our farmers to compete in the market. This will perish their livelihood which was strengthened after the White revolution,” the LoP leader said.

“The objective of International relations should be to enable domestic transformation by accelerating growth, preserving autonomy and protecting our people’s interests. Unfortunately, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is collusion with cronies, submit to foreigners and kill common man,” he added.

“I welcome the decision of Congress President Sonia Gandhi to support the fight against RCEP and raise this cause in the Parliament in the interests of farmers,” he said.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – a mega free trade agreement being negotiated among 10 ASEAN countries with their six 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.

Last week, RCEP member countries met in Bangkok for three days of negotiations, perhaps for the last time to conclude the deal.

About 80 million rural households are engaged in milk production in India with very high proportion being landless, small and marginal farmers.

The total estimated milk production in the country was 176.35 million tonnes during 2017-18. The government has targeted milk production of 254.55 million tonnes by 2022.



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