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Cong forced PM Modi to withdraw from RCEP deal, claims ex-Union minister

Press Trust of India  |  Mathura 

Former Union minister and Congress leader Rajiv Shukla here on Tuesday claimed that it was his party that forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Bangkok.

"Owing to strong opposition of the Congress in the past 10 days, the prime minister was virtually forced to rescind his decision of signing the agreement," the secretary of the All-India Congress Committee told reporters here on Tuesday.

He was in the city to launch a 10-day agitation programme of the party.

He said the impact of the free trade pact would have been catastrophic for farmers and industries as the markets would have been flooded with cheaper goods from countries including China and Australia.

He said it would have become difficult for the country due to a reduction in the import duty up to 80 to 90 per cent.

Five crore farmers involved in dairy farming would have adversely affected, he said, adding that it would have become a Herculean task for Indian traders to compete due to differences in the cost of products.

Shukla further alleged that the economy of the country was in doldrums as the GDP had slipped to five per cent from the eight per cent during the UPA government led by Dr Manmohan Singh.

He said unemployment had shot up, throwing millions out of job while there had been no relief from price rise and corruption.

The farm produce was not being sold at the minimum support price, he said, adding that the cost of fertilisers and power had adversely hit farmers.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 05 2019. 18:50 IST