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Parliament panel seeks people's views on India's free trade challenges news
07 January 2013

The standing committee attached to the commerce ministry has sought views from stakeholders including the public on the advantages and disadvantages of India's free-trade engagements with the various countries and groupings.

The parliamentary standing committee on commerce headed by Rajya Sabha MP Shanta Kumar has taken up the subject of `India's Engagement with Free Trade Agreements (FTAs): Challenges and Opportunities' for examination and report to the Parliament.

The committee has decided to invite views, suggestions and comments from experts, institutions, organisations and stake-holders interested in the subject matter.

The committee wants views / suggestions / comments to, among other things, focus on the following issues:

  • Benefits and disadvantages, if any, that has accrued on account of signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with various countries/region/bloc;
  • Ways and means to promote domestic agriculture as well as strengthen local industries through FTAs;
  • Role of FTAs in flow of investments, especially greenfield;
  • Level of impetus desired in the FTAs for the service sector and those actually given till date;
  • Capacity creation, both physical and human as a result of these FTAs;
  • Extent of sensitivity observed towards climate and environment in FTAs; and
  • Flaws/discrepancies if any, prevailing in the present architecture of FTA and remedies thereof.

These issues are only indicative and not exhaustive, the committee said, adding that stakeholders may comment on other issues related to FTAs as well.

The committee has welcomed both written and oral submissions on the subject.

Written submissions (either in Hindi or English) should reach J Sundriyal, director, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, 201, Second Floor, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi-110001 or e-mail at within 30 days from 3 January  2013.

Those willing to give oral evidence before the committee, besides sending memoranda have to indicate so. However, the committee has the right to decide on the issue.

The memoranda submitted to the committee would form a part of the records of the committee and will be treated as confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone till the report of the committee is presented to Parliament, the release said.

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Parliament panel seeks people's views on India's free trade challenges