Country to get third economic ‘jolt’ soon

Congress flays government move to sign RCEP

The Congress party has alleged that the Narendra Modi government was getting ready to give the country its third economic ‘jolt’ after demonetisation and the flawed implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) by signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) soon.

The new pact would destabilise the local markets with increased imports from China and the biggest sectors to be hit badly are agriculture, IT and Pharma, RCEP will be third ‘jolt’ to economy, said Congress national spokesperson Gourav Vallabh at a press conference here.

Mr. Gourav demanded that the government should explain to the country the costs involved and benefits to be accrued under this free-trade agreement involving 16 countries. There was no information of RCEP on the government websites and it was the responsibility of the Prime Minister and the Commerce and Industry Ministry to explain if any study was done on the RCEP impact on MSME units.

Dumping goods

He alleged that the Modi government has turned the ‘Make in India’ programme to ‘Make elsewhere and Sell in India’ programme. He said China will dump its goods into India under RCEP and this will severely affect the domestic industry. He claimed that the domestic market is already suffering with China exporting four times India exports to it and this was bound to increase after the RCEP.

He said farmers, industry, Opposition parties are apprehensive about this but the government is yet to answer. Farmers will be hard hit with the usage of seeds with intellectual property rights (IPR) coming into picture and the services of IT industry will also be placed under RCEP hitting the local IT sector.

IPR issues

Another big industry to face massive problems is the Pharma sector as IPR issues applying to generic drugs once the pact was signed. He claimed that the trade bodies affiliated to the RSS too were against the RCEP pact.

Attacking the Modi government, Mr. Gourav said taxes on the common man were increased while the rich and the influential were getting tax benefits. There was a tax terror in the country and the common man was subjected to harassment, he alleged.

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