NITI Aayog Rings Alarm Bells
The government’s key think-tank asserts that free trade pacts may put import-led India in deep trouble. CEA warning must be heeded before RCEP deal.
NITI Aayog’s warning that India should rethink about joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) forum could not have come at a more appropriate time. The government’s key think-tank had reportedly argued, in a note on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and their costs to highly import-dependent India, that such a partnership could be disastrous to the country. India is one of the world’s biggest import-driven, deficient-balance-of-trade economies. Significantly, India’s joining RCEP would mean a huge market access to China — the key player in the grouping. And, that threatens to unsettle India’s economy and its domestic manufacturing programmes.