The Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi slammed the union government today for its proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) and said it would destroy the country’s domestic dairy sector.

“The central government plans to sign a free trade agreement with the EU which will force our country to import milk and milk products from them. That will destroy domestic the country’s dairy sector,” Modi said, while addressing the Gujarat Cooperative Congress here today.

“This (UPA) government is bent upon destroying the agriculture-based animal husbandry and dairy culture of our country, as it has decided to go ahead with the free trade agreement by keeping the domestic cooperative dairy and animal husbandry sector in dark,” he alleged.

Due to the agreement, milk and milk products would be dumped in the country and that would harm India’s domestic and cooperative sector, he alleged.

Alleging that the central government had adopted a “discriminatory” policy against Gujarat’s cooperative sector, Modi said that despite Gujarat’s capacity to provide milk to many other states, the central government had “refused” to make railway milk tanker facilities available.

“Poor people are not in the priority list of this central government,” he alleged.

Modi criticised the central government for not heeding a demand to reduce interest rates for farmers in Gujarat who faced crop failure due to delayed monsoons last year.

“We requested that interest rates on loans from nationalised banks be reduced from seven per cent to four per cent, but that was never considered by this anti-poor central government,” he alleged.