Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

 On The Proposed India-EU Free Trade Agreement

 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will head the Indian delegation at the ninth India-European Union Summit at Marseille on 29th September. An India-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is high on the agenda of the summit.

 It is a matter of serious concern that while the European Parliament has already discussed the issues related to the proposed FTA, the Indian Government is yet to share the details of the negotiations with the Indian Parliament and the people. It is noteworthy that India was not required to take any commitments in areas like competition policy, IPR and public procurement in the WTO Doha Round, which seems to be a part of the India-EU FTA. It is also clear that the huge agricultural subsidies provided by the EU, which has been one of the major roadblocks in the WTO Doha Round, are not being discussed in the India-EU FTA. With the future of the Doha Round looking bleak, the trade liberalization agenda is sought to be pushed through FTAs with advanced economies, which can hardly offer a level playing field for a developing country like India. In fact such FTAs can turn out to be much more damaging for the livelihoods of our farmers, workers and other sections of the working people than the WTO agreements.

 The Polit Bureau of the CPI (M) demands that the UPA government should not make any commitment on the India-EU FTA unless the details of the agreement are discussed in Indian Parliament. The Draft proposals, existing negotiating positions and studies conducted by the Indian Government on the India-EU FTA should be placed and debated in Parliament before the Government initiates any further step.