Plantation sector welcomes India’s withdrawal from RCEP

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Nov 05, 2019

The struggling sector was fearful of the impact of cheap plantation commodities from South-East Asia flooding the country

With India opting out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, for now, the plantation community has heaved a sigh of relief.

“It is a welcome move,” said AL RM Nagappan, President of The United Planters Association of South India, the apex body of planters in the country. “The plantation sector needs definite protection from cheaper imports,” he added.

UPASI and other plantation bodies had made various representations to the Centre on the need to exclude all plantation crops from the proposed RCEP.

The plantation community, which is battling weak commodity prices, rising costs amidst oversupply, and erratic climatic patterns, saw a major threat in the RCEP as it would have opened the Indian market to cheaper commodities from South East Asian countries, including coffee, pepper, rubber and arecanut.

According to UPASI, in 2018-19, India had an overall trade surplus of ₹4,368 crore, with exports of plantation commodities such as tea coffee and spices, among others. However, with respect to the RCEP countries, India faced a trade deficit of ₹5,716 crore in plantation commodities.

Published on November 05, 2019
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