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Industry to comment on items in 'Sensitive List' in FTAs with EU & EFTA

03
Jun '09
In a bid to capture the views of Indian industry to strengthen India's negotiating position for concluding Free Trade Agreements with the EU and EFTA countries, the Commerce Ministry has circulated a 'sensitive list' of items of trade, tariff line-wise, to enable the domestic producers to give detailed responses on their concerns over tariff, non tariff, and regulations.

Addressing a 'Stakeholders' Consultation on India's FTAs with EU and EFTA countries', organized by FICCI, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, UNCTAD and Centre for WTO Studies in the Department of Commerce, Mr. Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry said, the exercise would enable the government to achieve tangible results in the final FTA between India and the countries of EU and EFTA.

Mr. Gupta underlined the need for identifying the 'must' items in the 'sensitive list' and those items that industry felt would be 'desirable' to retain in the list.

He said, the FTA negotiations had reached a stage where India would have to share with the EU and EFTA the 'sensitive list' where it would not reduce tariffs because of domestic industry's concerns. India would also have to come up with a list of other items where import tariffs would be brought down to zero in a phased manner.

In today's meeting, industry was urged to give detailed responses to a questionnaire prepared by UNCTAD and pinpoint whether the tentative list of items identified were to be deemed as sensitive. Industry was also asked to identify the items to be removed from the list backed by adequate reasons and statistics; items that could be substituted by other items and those that could be included in the tentative 'sensitive list'.

While the Commerce Ministry is keen to finalize the list by June 25, industry has sought time up to June 15 to give a comprehensive assessment of the issues at hand.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry


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