Posted by : Sainadh Reddy Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Stop FTA with European Union
The WTO agreement has been detrimental to the interests of India is very well known. Small scale industry, agricultural sector, financial and other service sectors have all been detrimentally affected by this agreement which had been signed behind the back of the people of this country by the then Congress government, giving unilateral concessions at the cost of the people and the “aam admi” .
Even after signing of the WTO, the western and developed countries have not lived up to their commitments for instance reduction in subsidies, reduction in industrial tariff and movement of natural labour, however they have been constantly pressuring India to make further concessions.
Today after almost two decades of signing the WTO agreement, sadly it seems that 15 % of our traded equities have gone into the hands of FIIs. Foreign dominance in sectors like Pharmaceuticals, Cement, Automobile, Electronic Industry, Telecom manufacturing is now increasing everyday and in many other sectors they have spread their wings. Along with such expansion of dominance by foreign firms, their unethical practises which they cannot conduct in their home countries are being conducted in India, taking advantage of poverty and ignorance of our ordinary people and the corruption and connivance of the government which rules the country today.
Under these circumstances the government is succumbing to foreign pressure for reasons best known to it and keeping the people and the parliament in the dark and often misleading the nation on vital issues especially regarding the new terms of trade which is being signed surreptitiously by this government with the EU. It may be noted that if more concessions are accorded to EU under the proposed agreements, Indian industry would be debarred from legal recourse against any ill practices of foreign multinationals.
The EU on realising that it would fail abysmally to live up to the meagre commitments which it had made under the WTO and that it was not possible to get further concessions without implementing the earlier commitments and fulfilling the earlier concessions has started discussions on a new EU Free Trade Agreement to overturn the rules of the game. The EU in its internal documents is claiming that it would much more benefits than India and also what it gained under the WTO contrary to the interests of India under the proposed EU FTA.
It is very unfortunate that the biggest victim of the proposed EU FTA, the dairy sector is not even being heard let alone being consulted and, its pleas are falling on deaf ears.
The government dangerously seems to be succumbing to EU pressure in the automobile sector.
Needless to say, all the sectors which are being affected have been created by the hard work of the people of the country and the government in order to shore up its own vested interest is attempting to bail out the miserably ailing EU by conceding it’s desperate demands by unilateral concessions without reciprocity.
Under the circumstances the National Council of SJM demands that:
(1) That there should be full disclosure of the terms of negotiation and proposed agreement of the EU FTA forthwith;
(2) That there should be wider consultation with all stakeholders , including farmers , industry – specially pharmaceutical and automobile, services and the dairy sector specially cooperatives;
(3) That there should be no signing of the EU FTA without debate on its terms in Parliament since the elections are very close and the effect of signing the agreement would amount to bind the hands of subsequent governments without having the mandate to do so ;
(4) That there should be no agreement on agriculture without reduction in subsidies by the EU , both hidden and open in all sectors , especially in farming;
(5) That reduction in tariffs should be rejected forthwith to safeguard Small scale and cottage industries ;
(6) That further concessions should not be given beyond that which has been committed in the area of patent protection.