Indian media report grave community concerns as RCEP talks open in Hyderabad

July 19, 2017: India is host to the 19th round of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at Hyderabad this week and next. But Indian society itself is strongly opposed to draft clauses in the RCEP.

The New Indian Express reported on July 17 the fears of Kiran Vissa of the Raithu Swarajya Vedika, farmers’ organisation.

“Indian farmers are already suffering as they are not getting a fair price for their produce. Cheaper imports will reduce the demand much further, leading to a drop in price. Also, India, unlike many other countries, does not offer high rate of subsidies to farmers. We cannot undersell,” explained Kiran.

The Times of India reported also on July 17 that the Left Democratic Front in the state of Kerala wanted assurance from the Central Government that livelihood crops of the state like rubber, pepper and cardamom are not affected by the RCEP.

Kavalit Singh writes in Madhyam that India should represent community concerns,  strive for a balanced outcome in all areas of negotiations and should not be pressured to  rush through negotiations by Japan and Korea, who are supporting the TPP model of ISDS.