Swadeshi Jagran Manch to protest against Free Trade Agreement ( FTA)
Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) affiliated to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has announced nationwide protest against the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the 16 country Free Trade Agreement ( FTA), between 10th and 20th October in all the District Centres. It will also submit Memorandum to Prime Minister through District Magistrate in each district. It has appealed like-minded organisations and individuals to join the protest.
SJM says that the nation is currently facing a crisis in both manufacturing and agriculture which is resulting in a job losses in the country. Though the crisis in the manufacturing is due to the lack of a comprehensive industrial policy since 1991; the FTAs India has signed in the last decade play a major role by allowing cheap imports and hollowing out of Indian manufacturing. In 2018-19, India had a trade deficit with 11 of the 15 RCEP negotiating countries. In the previous year India had a USD 104 billion trade deficit RCEP countries and more than half of this was with China.
“SJM notes that there is a growing sensitivity within government with regard to certain sectors such as dairy and there are rumours that India may seek a carve-out on a dairy from RCEP. We welcome the sensitivity of the government. However, RCEP agreement with 80% or 90% more tariff lines subject to tariff elimination or drastic reduction would cripple India’s manufacturing and agriculture sector especially in the area of new frontiers of technology/technology-intensive product. Therefore carving out just one or two sectors from RCEP is not enough to address the concern,” it says.