"Agriculture is a state subject. The Centre should consult states that are affected by international agreements and arrive at a decision,” Pinarayi said.

Kerala CM urges Centre to consult states before signing international trade pacts
news Trade Agreements Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 09:06

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday urged the Centre to consult states before signing International Agriculture Trade agreement and free trade agreements.

As per a report by the New Indian Express (TNIE), Pinarayi said, “Agriculture is a state subject. The Centre should consult states that are affected by international agreements and arrive at a decision. Only then should such treaties be signed.”

Pinarayi said this during the inauguration of a national workshop on International Agricultural Trade and Free Trade Agreements’ organised by the Agricultural Department, State Agriculture Prices Board and the World Trade Organisation cell.

He said that states that have to face the brunt of international agreements because of the Centre not consulting them, even in matters that directly affect them.

The Kerala CM accused the Centre of lifting all import barriers to promote exports at the cost of states.

“We should realise that only the big farmers and corporate farming concerns will benefit from such policies," said Pinarayi, who also went on to add that such discrimination should not happen.

Pinarayi also added that the Kerala government has conveyed the state’s stand on the agriculture export policy to the Centre.

In a video message, Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said that the Centre has decided to promote agriculture exports, also adding that the draft agriculture export policy is available online.

Suresh Pal, director, National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research-ICAR, New Delhi, underlined the need to leverage technology and institutional innovation to spur agricultural growth. He said the time has come to give serious thought to enhancing the income of farmers.

According to a report in Mathrubhumi, Pinarayi also criticised the Centre's rubber policy and said it was against the interest of rubber growers. Rubber farmers were in deep trouble following fall in price of natural rubber, he said, adding that hiking import duty for rubber was the only solution to this crisis.

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