Report By Samaah Saleem| Mount Carmel College Student Bengaluru | Last Updated at Nov 04 2019

Farmers across the country held a nationwide protest against the Government today. The BJP led Centre signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement with the inclusion of agricultural sector.

This Agreement (RCEP) consists of 16 countries, including 10 ASEAN countries (Association of SouthEast Asian Nations) and six others: India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The agreement was about bringing 40% of the world’s production and 50% of the world’s population under its purview.

Ten lakh farmers across the country participated in the protest today morning to warn the government against going ahead with the inclusion of agriculture in the RCEP free trade agreement. 250 farmer organisations came together for the same.

AIKSCC (All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee) in a press statement said that world over, governments have been heavily subsidising crop inputs and providing quality infrastructure to their farmers in order to maintain competitive prices of their produce. Indian government has not done that. In India, input prices are heavily taxed and farmers are not given profitable prices, resulting in heavy losses and farmer debts. RCEP would aggravate this crisis immensely.

Although the government entered the trade agreement that would affect the livelihood of crores of Indian farmers, no draft of the negotiation text has been made public or even the state governments have not been consulted. Not only that, there has been no discussion in the Parliament on this issue so far.

The Agreement was signed today in Bangkok, Thailand.

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