Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra claimed on Saturday that if India signs the RCEP pact it will prove to be "farmers' destruction agreement" as in times of economic slowdown, Indian markets should provide maximum help to domestic farmers. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), comprising the 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries -- India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand -- is engaged in negotiations for a free-trade pact.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Bangkok on a three-day visit to attend the annual ASEAN-India Summit, the East Asia Summit and the RCEP Summit.
In a tweet, Priyanka Gandhi said, "There is an economic slowdown in the country. Our policy right now should be such that our markets provide maximum help to our farmers."
In this environment, the RCEP will prove to be "farmers' destruction agreement", she said.
"This will gobble up all the interests of the farmers of India, and their space for selling their produce will be limited," the Congress general secretary claimed.
The RCEP negotiations were launched by leaders from the 10 ASEAN member states and six ASEAN Free Trade Area partners during the 21st ASEAN Summit in Cambodia's capital of Phnom Penh in November 2012.
The objective of launching RCEP negotiations is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN member states and the bloc's free trade area partners.
A section of domestic industries have raised serious concerns over the RCEP deal over tariff related issues.
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