Farmers stage protest against RCEP deal in Amritsar

Amritsar: Scores of farmers under the banner of Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC) on Sunday staged a protest at Amritsar-Delhi Highway against the Centre’s decision to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement with 16 nations.

The protesters believe that the clause of tariff cut over imported items will impact them and demanded that the government must act tough and exit the deal.

The poor farmers also blocked the highway for 30 long minutes.
“Already we are not getting the right prices for our produce. Now, if the Modi government will allow the import of milk and seeds without putting tariff, it will affect our business. If they import sugarcane, the mills will get closed. We all are against India becoming a part of final RCEP deal,” said Sarwan Singh Pandayer, General Secretary Punjab Kissan Sangarsh Commetti Punjab.

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However, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday had stated that India will protect its national interest while signing RCEP.”Not every industrial sector is opposed to RCEP Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Pharmaceutical and textiles sector have supported RCEP FTA. We will take care of concerns of certain sectors related to China in the RCEP FTA.”

The RCEP is an economic cooperation agreement that is being negotiated by 16 countries including the 10 countries of ASEAN.

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