October 20, 2019

AIKS to Protest against RCEP

THE All India Kisan Sabha, in a statement issued on October 11, has strongly opposed the move of Narendra Modi government to sign Regional Comprehensive Economic Pact (RCEP) neglecting the interests of the small and middle farmers and working class of India. If India becomes partner in RCEP, the agriculture as well as the domestic economy will face its detrimental impact. The Indian markets will be dumped with cheap industrial products from other countries and the diary sector will be heavily devastated.

The neoliberal policies have brought havoc across the globe and Indian economy as well as the global economy is facing intensifying recession. However, the Modi government still sticks on the same reckless policies and provides heavy relief to corporate forces. Signing RCEP is part of this anti-worker, anti-peasant policy of the BJP-RSS led union government. 

The diary sector in India provides livelihood to 10 crore peasant households and due to the cooperative structure built through ages 71 per cent of price of milk goes back to the peasant households. If India agrees to withdraw the existing 64 per cent tax on import of milk and milk products as demanded by RCEP, then the price of milk will crash in the domestic market which will hurt the interests of the dairy farmers. The price of skimmed milk powder in India is Rs 260/litre while the price is Rs 160/170 per litre in New Zealand which is the largest milk producing country which exports 93 per cent of its production.

RCEP covers a lot of agriculture products including vegetables, fish, grains and spices and if agreed by the Modi government, it will have devastating impact especially on small and marginal farmers and agricultural workers that constitute 85 per cent of the agrarian community. The RCEP has already seen strong opposition in the country from every major industrial sector, spanning automobiles, steel, copper, aluminum and textiles to name a few, as they fear a flood of cheap imports from other countries.

AIKS urges the peasantry and the working class to organise widespread protest campaign across the country including leaflet distribution, demonstrations and effigy burning and mass public meetings in the villages demanding Modi government to withdraw from RCEP.

AIKS will join hands with all other likeminded peasants and workers organisations to mobilise the people on November 4, 2019 the date of leadership summit to sign RCEP. The mode of struggle will be discussed collectively and announced later.