Call to include fish in 'sensitive list' of Indo-EU trade agreement

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Kochi, Nov 27 (UNI) The representatives of the fisheries sector today recommended the Union Commerce Ministry to include all varieties of fish in the 'sensitive list' of the Indo-EU Trade and Investment Agreement.

The statement was made in a session, under the auspices of Director in Department of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Ajay Srivastav, on 'Consultation with Stakeholders for Identification of Negative List Items for India' here.

The representatives said the import of fish from the EU would adversely affect the interests of the traditional fishermen in the State.

The representatives from cashew sector said raw cashew should not be included in the 'negative list' as it was being imported to the country, but cashew kernels -- roasted and salted should be included in the list.

''Cashew kernels are exported to the EU but there was a threat of it being imported back to India with value-addition, which could affect the domestic market,'' a cashew sector spokesman said.

A representative of the Spices sector said all spices should be kept away from the negative list as the export potential of spices to the EU was encouraging.

Mr Srivastav said duty for items included in the 'non-sensitve list,' which accounts to 90 per cent of the products for trade, would be made 'zero' in a period of seven years and that included in the 'negative list' would be subjected to 'no or delayed liberalisation'.

He said the Ministry was holding discussions with various stakeholders in the industry and a report on the deliberations would be given in three weeks time.

The next round of discussions with EU officials would be held in New Delhi on December 6.

The representatives of the rubber industry said as natural rubber had to be imported it should not be included in the sensitive list.

Mr Srivastava said a tentative negative list was prepared including 401 items by UNCTAD and the list was subject to revision after consultation with the representatvies of different sectors.


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