Karnataka

RCEP is not beneficial to farmers, says Siddaramaiah

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‘Proposal to sign Free Trade Agreement will be opposed’

Opposing the Centre’s proposal to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for dairy products under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said that it was against the interests of farmers and it would be vehemently opposed.

In a series of six tweets, he said that over 10 crore farmers [in India] are dependent on dairy farming for their livelihood. “Import of cheap products will hurt them and in turn will cause rural distress. Karnataka alone produces more than 86 lakh litres of milk and other dairy products,” he said in a tweet.

Referring to the initiatives taken in Karnataka to protect milk farmers, the Congress leader, in another tweet, said: “Under Ksheera Dhare, we had increased the subsidy to producers to ₹5 a litre. We also launched Ksheera Bhagya to ensure full utilisation of excess milk and address malnourishment issues in children. FTA will only nullify all these.”

He also said that dairy products of Australia and New Zealand were much cheaper, which would make it difficult for our farmers to compete in the market. This would affect their livelihood, which was strengthened after the White Revolution, he added.

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

He welcomed the decision of Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to support the fight against RCEP.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 2:03:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/rcep-is-not-beneficial-to-farmers-says-siddaramaiah/article29783049.ece

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