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Govt should not reduce import duty on dairy products: SJM.

Date: 03-10-2019
Subject: Govt should not reduce import duty on dairy products: SJM
The RSS-affiliated SJM has said that the government should not reduce import duties on dairy products, as New Zealand and Australia are in negotiations with India to do so as part of the RCEP-FTA trade agreement.

India is contemplating to finalise the RCEP-FTA (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership -Free Trade Agreement), a trade block which includes China, Australia and New Zealand, apart from 10 ASEAN countries, Japan and South Korea.

New Zealand and Australia are negotiating very hard with India to reduce duty on dairy products so that they can get an access to the Indian market, which is the world's largest for dairy products, SJM's co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said.

It is unfortunate that officials of the Centre for Regional Trade (CRT), under the Commerce Ministry, have been supporting the offer to reduce tariffs on milk and its products, he claimed.

Milk producers and processors have been pleading with the Ministry of Commerce, presenting hard facts that are being deliberately ignored by bureaucrats and consultants pushing the deal, he alleged.

At present, Indian consumers are getting milk at the cheapest rate globally, Mahajan said, adding, "It's beyond doubt that signing of RCEP would mean death knell for dairy in India."

India's dairy industry is worth USD 100 billion currently and is projected to double in the next decade if the government policy remains supportive towards the rural milk producers, the SJM said.

Source: moneycontrol.com

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