CAIT for Parliament debate on India-EU FTA implications
New Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Tuesday said the proposed India-EU Free Trade Agreement would adversely impact sectors like auto and dairy and called for a Parliamentary debate on the implications of the pact.
"The government should inform both Parliament and people on the recent developments on India-EU FTA negotiations. The FTA with EU should be placed before Parliament for a discussion in regard to its implications on various sectors," CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.
A CAIT delegation would soon meet senior leaders of all political parties for raising the issue in the Parliament session beginning this month, he added.
On Monday, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma held discussion with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht in Brussels, aimed at resolving differences between the two sides on the issue.
Both sides are engaged in sorting out issues such as tax on automobiles, dairy products and movement of professionals across borders, even after 16 rounds of talks on the proposed FTA.
"The agreement would have an adverse impact on various sectors such as dairy, agriculture and pharmaceuticals as the pact offers maximum advantages to the 27-nation bloc," CAIT Convener Adarsh Gupta said.
India and the 27-nation bloc have been negotiating on the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) since June 2007 and have missed several deadlines to conclude the talks due to differences on the level of opening up of the markets.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the conclusion of the second inter-governmental consultations between the two countries in Berlin, held out the prospects of signing a "broad-based, ambitious and balanced FTA in 2013."
The experts and chief negotiators will remain engaged in discussions and the next ministerial meeting is scheduled for June.