Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal

Where was Sonia Gandhi when UPA forced India to join RCEP negotiations, asks Piyush Goyal

ANI | Updated: Nov 02, 2019 23:41 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 2 (ANI): Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday hit out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi after she cautioned against the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, asking her why she did not speak up when India joined negotiations for this pact in 2011-12 during the UPA regime.
In a series of tweet on Saturday, Goyal pointed out multiple decisions taken by her government such as the opening up of 74 per cent of the Indian market to ASEAN countries, expanding India-China Free Trade Agreement in 2007, among others and asked the Congress president as to why she did not object to the same.
"Smt. Sonia Gandhi ji has suddenly woken up to RCEP and FTAs. So where was she when trade deficit with RCEP nations increased from USD 7 Billion in 2004 to USD 78 Billion in 2014? When her Govt forced India to join RCEP negotiations with China in 2011-12," Goyal wrote on Twitter.
"Where was she When FTA with ASEAN was signed in 2010? When FTA with South Korea was signed in 2010? When FTA with Malaysia was signed in 2011? When FTA with Japan was signed in 2011?" the following tweet read.

Goyal noted that Congress opened 74 per cent of its market to ASEAN countries at a time when "richer countries like Indonesia opened only 50 per cent for India? Why did she not speak against giving larger concessions to richer countries "
"Where was Sonia ji when her Govt agreed to explore an India-China FTA in 2007? I hope ex-PM Dr Manmohan Singh will speak up against this insult to him," Goyal went on to say.

Goyal reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement on the RCEP during an interview to Bangkok Post where he said that the pact should be mutually beneficial for all parties.
Gandhi said on Saturday that any decision by the Modi government to sign the RCEP will be a "body blow" to the economy of the country and will bring "untold hardship" for farmers, shopkeepers, small and medium enterprises.

"As if the government's economic decisions have not damaged the economy enough, it is now ready to deal a body blow to it by signing the RCEP. This will result in untold hardship for our farmers, shopkeepers, small and medium enterprises with serious repercussions for the people. We can ill afford to become a dumping ground for products including agricultural products from foreign countries," she said.
RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its six other partner countries.
Gandhi alleged that the economic crisis was worsening by the day. (ANI)