Dairy major Amul on Monday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “protecting 10 crore milk producer families” by opting out of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement.
“On behalf of 36 lakh milk producers of Gujarat, Amul has thanked the Prime Minister for his exemplary leadership in protecting 10 crore milk producer families of India. It has appreciated the vision and resolve of the Prime Minister for supporting the domestic milk producers against the flood of imports of dairy products from New Zealand and Australia under the proposed RCEP,” said AMULin a statement.
Amul, the umbrella brand under which 17 dairies of Gujarat market milk and other milk products are marketed, said it had held several meetings with Commerce Ministry officials to sensitise the government on the likely impact of offering zero duty imports of cheaper dairy commodities from Australia and New Zealand under the proposed agreement.
“It also highlighted the wrong case of need for imports built by the data fabricated by economists working in the Centre for Regional Trade and other lobbyists,” the country’s leading milk producer said.
It credited the chief ministers of Gujarat and other states, several milk-producing bodies and other stakeholders to raise the issue with the Ministry of Commerce.
“But finally, it was the determination and vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he communicated the firmness in his resolve to not enter the RCEP by clearly stating that key concerns of our country were not addressed and that this decision would help farmers and the dairy sector,” the statement read.
The statement by Amul came after India decided not to join the RCEP agreement as its key concerns have not been addressed, with the Prime Minister standing firm on the demands. The decision not to join RCEP will help the country’s farmers, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and dairy sector, according to sources in the government.