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BJP opposes free trade pact with EU, says need to debate in Parliament

Against the backdrop of PM Manmohan Singh’s visit to Germany, Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) on Wednesday objected to India entering the final phase of signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)with the European Union(EU) without discussing it in Parliament despite being aware of the opposition to it. Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi cautioned that signing an FTA with the EU will lead to the latter flooding the Indian market with dairy, poultry, sugar, wheat, confectionary, oilseeds, plantation products and fisheries.

‘This will directly compromise India’s agricultural sovereignty and its food security,’ said Joshi, adding there is no provision for discussing subsidies and other incentives given by the EU to its farmers which put them in an advantageous position vis-a-vis India. BJP sought to know why the government is set to move ahead on this when the matter is with Parliament’s Standing Committee on Commerce where apprehensions of signing an FTA with the EU have been voiced strongly.

‘Irrespective of ideological considerations, the conditions which, according to reports, the Centre is willing to concede to EU will seriously jeopardise the interests of the Indians with no obvious gains in trade or economic expansion,’ said Joshi.
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