Cabinet has given its consent for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Asean in spite of the objection from its own MP’s.
Manmohan Singh said,
"A free trade agreement with Asean is an international political commitment and is also part of the Look East Policy."
When the agreement is implemented, the present 70 percent import duty on pepper will come down by 2 percent every year. Likewise, the import duty on tea and coffee, which is now 80 percent, would come down to 45 percent and that on rubber would come down to 50 percent after 10 years. The FTA will also eliminate import tariffs on around 4,000 items.
This would spell doom for Kerala’s pepper, tea, coffee, spices and rubber as markets will be flooded with cheaper imports from other countries.
Thankyou PM for killing last of Kerala Industries and also thankyou to 15 odd congress MP’s which Kerala elected this Lok Sabha elections