THIRUVNANTHAPURAM: CPM state secretariat has urged the central government to reconsider signing of The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed free-trade agreement. The massive free-trade agreement involves 16 nations that are home to nearly 50% of the world’s population. The RCEP is detrimental to the country’s interest, the CPM said in a statement.
The party said proposed agreement will have far-reaching consequences on dairy, agriculture, fishery, plantation, rubber and tea.
The Centre is all set to sign the RCEP agreement in November, but it has failed to hold discussions with states. The CPM said the agreement would result in further reduction in plantation sector tariff.
The Central Government has not released details of this issue nor has it consulted with people from different parts of the country. But according to the data, 28 per cent of the tariff on the contract should reach zero immediately after the signing of the agreement. There is pressure on India to abolish 90% of its tariffs on trade with ASEAN countries and Japan.
Sri Lanka and the ASEAN countries, which are very similar in terms of production to Kerala, have raised the issue and protested that day.
The main products of ASEAN countries are natural rubber, cardamom, ginger, cashew, nuts, copra, coconut oil and fish. But many of these processed products have no value....