Karnataka

‘RCEP may sound death knell for Indian dairy farmers’

KRRS leader Badagalapurada Nagendra, retired KMF Managing Director A.S. Premnath, former MP R. Dhruvanarayana and others at the session on the impact of RCEP on rural economy, at Manasagangotri in Mysuru on Monday.

KRRS leader Badagalapurada Nagendra, retired KMF Managing Director A.S. Premnath, former MP R. Dhruvanarayana and others at the session on the impact of RCEP on rural economy, at Manasagangotri in Mysuru on Monday.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

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Former MP and Congress leader R. Dhruvanarayana on Monday feared that countries, including China, may start dumping their goods in India threatening the existence of the local producers such as farmers, sericulturists and milk producers since trade becomes “duty-free” under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The risk of India becoming a “dumping ground” looms large over the RCEP deal, he warned.

“The agreement will not merely impact dairy industry and milk producers, it will have its impact on the silk industry as well since China may use the deal to start dumping its silk in India, affecting the country’s silk producers. After China, India is the world’s second largest silk producer,” he said.

Dumping

Speaking at the session on “RCEP and its impact on the rural economy” organised by the Federation of Dalit Students and Scholars of University of Mysore here, he said the RCEP, a free-trade agreement, ensures zero tariff for imports from the RCEP partners and this will encourage countries to dump their goods.

“The milk industry is one of the successfully managed cooperative institutions, particularly in Karnataka. RCEP is a double-whammy as it will destabilise the established system which had taken decades to reach this stage starting from the White Revolution,” he argued.

Referring to the reports in a section of press on India delaying the signing of the agreement, he said the agreement needs to be permanently dropped to save the economy from further slump.

Many jobs gone

The economic slowdown has swallowed over 50 lakh jobs with over 50 per cent of small and medium enterprises shut down resulting from the downturn.

“In Peenya industrial area in Bengaluru alone, more than 50 percent SMEs had been closed, unable to withstand the slowdown. If the RCEP becomes a reality, the country’s economy will be damaged further,” he cautioned.

The former MP said India was yet to recover from the impact of demonetisation. “The Centre should take steps cautiously,” he added.

University Registrar Shivaraj inaugurated the session. Former KMF Managing Director A.S. Premnath and Srikanth Aradhya from NDDB gave a presentation on the impact of RCEP on the country’s dairy industry and the rural economy. KRRS President Badalagapura Nagendra, who is heading the farmers’ protests against the RCEP deal, also spoke.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 3:41:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/rcep-may-sound-death-knell-for-indian-dairy-farmers/article29881305.ece

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