Review of FTAs almost finalised: Nirmala Sitharaman

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    KOLKATA: The review process of the existing Free Trade Agreements that India had entered into with partner countries is almost finalised and domestic manufacturers would benefit from the revised pacts, Minister of state for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

    “We did review the FTAs as well as the SEZs and the process is almost in the final stages,” Sitharaman told reporters after a meeting on the jute industry here.

    She said there was a perception that some of the FTAs were benefiting the partner countries rather than India.

    “There is a feeling that some of the FTAs are benefiting the partner countries and there is absolutely no discord between finance and commerce ministries in this regard. We in the commerce ministry want better utilisation of the agreements for increasing exports from the country. The government will ensure that,” she said.

    The new foreign trade policy, to be announced shortly soon, would give Indian manufacturers and exporters benefit from the revised FTAs, the minister said.

    Sitharaman said India was keen on FTAs with the ASEAN countries.

    To a query, Sitharaman said that India’s tough stand on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement would not put the future of Doha Round into peril.

    “India is keen on Trade Facilitation Agreement and also for a permanent solution on public stockholding on food grains”, she said.

    She said that the government believed on multi-lateral agreements but not at the cost of the country’s sovereignty.

    Source: The Economic Times