NEW DELHI: On a day PM Narendra Modi reached Thailand to attend various Asean summits, including one on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday hit out at the Centre’s move to join RCEP, warning it will deal a body blow to India’s flailing economy.
She was talking at a strategy meeting of the Congress, which plans to hit the streets from November 5 to 15 to highlight the Centre’s failure to address slowdown, unemployment, agrarian crisis. It will also flag the perils of joining RCEP — the proposed free trade agreement among 10 member-states of Asean and its six FTA partners including China.
According to the Congress leader, joining RCEP will result in “untold hardship” for farmers, shopkeepers and small businesses. “We can ill-afford to become a dumping ground. India being made a dumping ground of Chinese goods is catastrophic. In the past 72 years, no country has signed FTA with China,” she pointed out.
Expect a balanced outcome: Modi
Bangkok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to participate in the meeting of nations negotiating RCEP agreement on November 4. While reports said a deal is likely on Monday, Modi said in an interview to the Bangkok Post that India hopes its concerns about “unsustainable trade deficits” from the deal would be addressed. He said India has submitted ‘reasonable’ proposals and seeks balanced outcome from the talks.