Dairy players oppose free trade pact with EU

Even as the Centre is inching nearer to indicator a Free Trade Arrangement (FTA) offer

Even as the Centre is inching nearer to indicator a Free Trade Arrangement (FTA) offer with the European Union (EU), India’s dairy sector has flagged some fears involving livelihood scores of Indian farmers.

The inclusion of dairy items in the FTA is feared to hamper farmers’ passions and stymie Government’s endeavours to boost dairy exports from India, they claimed.

Dairy key and Amul marketer Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) has penned a letter to the Union Commerce Ministry stating that opening up Indian marketplace for European dairies will end result into subsidising elite individuals at the value of Indian farmers.

“Our biggest concern is that EU has export subsidy for their dairies, thereby furnishing double subsidy to farmers and dairies. If they enter the Indian marketplace below FTA, it will hurt the Indian dairy farmers. We have penned to the Union Ministry trying to find to preserve dairy out of the FTA negotiations,” RS Sodhi explained to BusinessLine.

In the letter dated March 22, GCMMF has claimed that there is no case to even more subsidise import of dairy items this kind of as Skimmed Milk Powder (SMP) as it is now authorized for import below Tariff Fee Quota (TRQ) of ten,000 tonnes at 15 for every cent duty versus the prevailing 60 for every cent.

“SMP is dried sort of milk and is immediate substitute of milk. As a result it has immediate influence on the milk manufactured in India,” the letter argued.

Cheese imports

On the probability of cheese imports from Europe, Sodhi said that although its imports are authorized at thirty for every cent duty with out any constraints, a the greater part of this is gourmet cheese selection. “Against this, very similar items are manufactured by about 15 crore bad dairy farmers of India for their livelihoods. Thus, any concession in higher-stop items like cheese would confirm to be concession offered to elite individuals at the value of bad farmers,” Sodhi claimed in the letter.

Main personal dairy player Parag Milk Meals Limited’s Chairman Devendra Shah claimed the FTA go will hurt dairy producers’ passions as it will end result into dumping of the much less expensive dairy items from Europe.

“When there would be much less expensive provides of cheese obtainable in the international marketplaces, there would be a temptation for other personal gamers to supply instantly from there. This will sooner or later hurt India’s have dairy farming,” Shah claimed, including that the go necessary a reconsideration.

On the a single hand, the Govt has encouraged dairy items exports with mozzarella cheese via efficiency-connected incentive schemes, on the other, it has authorized duty concessions for import of cheese consequently defeating the really objective of the scheme.

India refrained from signing RCEP for the reason that of a very similar threat of import of dairy items from Australia and New Zealand. “EU is 5 situations even bigger producer and manage very similar marketplace share in the world-wide dairy trade. As a result, India should really wholly oppose import of any of the dairy items below the HS code 0401 to 0406,” he added in the ask for to the Govt.