Cong claims victory after govt decides not to join RCEP

It is a win for all those protecting national interests, said Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala. Photo/PTI

With India deciding not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Congress on Monday claimed victory saying its forceful opposition ensured that the BJP government backs out from bartering the interests of farmers, dairy producers, fishermen and small and medium businessmen.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it is a win for all those protecting national interests.

"As BJP and Sh. Amit Shah indulge in fake credit seeking today, let them remember that Congress' forceful opposition made them back down," he claimed.

He alleged that the BJP government "had gone overboard" in its zeal to sign RCEP.

"A forceful opposition by Congress and Rahul Gandhi ensures that BJP government backs down from bartering the interests of farmers, dairy producers, fishermen, small and medium businesses at the altar of political expediency (sic)," he said on Twitter.

He said with "rampant unemployment, a sinking economy and deep agrarian crisis emanating from utter mismanagement of the economy by BJP Government", signing RCEP would have been catastrophic.

"By backing down at the behest of the Congress party and farmers groups, our government has been forced to take a correct decision," Surjewala said.

"The Modi Government was pushing to sign RCEP agreement without addressing genuine concerns and national interests," he said, adding that no care was taken about farmers and MSMEs objections or national security interests.

"India's farmers and MSME's had genuine unaddressed concerns about -- Circumvention of Rules of Origin to dump Chinese goods; Absence of safeguards to prevent against import surges at the cost of domestic industry; No assurance on market access for service and IT industry," he also said.

India on Monday decided not to join the mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal as negotiations failed to address New Delhi's concerns, government sources said.

They said India's stand at RCEP is a strong reflection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's strong leadership and India's rising stature in the world.

India's decision will greatly help Indian farmers, MSMEs and dairy sector, the sources said.

The External Affairs Ministry said India decided not to join RCEP because of unresolved issues and believes that under current circumstances, it would not be proper to join the RCEP.

The decision was taken considering national interests, the Ministry said. 

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