There will be a Free Trade Agreement on Fisheries between India and EU near future. Some experiences of such agreements beteen Senegal and EU was also had serious consequences on Senegal artisanal fisheries.
According to Susana Barria of Intercultural Resources Institute of New Delhi, this is very untransparent and some sort of hidden program even to the elected members of the Indian Parliament.
So,the Susana's letter had drawn the attention of NFF leaders and the concerned people on the FTA. We all need to pay attention and take action on this collective way.
Here is the letter sent to Thomas Kocherry.
Dear NFF friends,
As you aware, Indian Commerce Ministry is currently engaged in an economic liberalisation strategy which includes signing multiple FTA with various countries or economic blocks, like the ASEAN-India FTA. This includes the negotiations for an FTAs with the European Union. So far the Government of India has taken no initiative to genuinely consult with farmers’ organizations, trade unions, people movements and civil society organizations. All the documents under discussions are kept secret. Even the Indian parliament and the state governments are not informed about the content of the negotiations, depite the fact that they incldue state subjects, like Fisheries.
The Indian government wants to conclude the EU-India Free Trade Agreement by October of this year. The 8th Round will be held in Brussels, the week of April 26, 2010. It may well be the last big “Round” of negotiations and the remaining time may be left to technocrats to bargain and trade away lives, livelihoods, land and resources through the various provisions of the final free trade deal.
We would like to send a strong message to the Prime Minister and the leadership of all key Indian Parties as we intensify our campaign to stop the EU India FTA. This includes reaching out to political parties, parlamentarians, and also send letters from major mouvements and unions on specific sectors concerns. A letter will be sent from farmers' groups, trade unions, and it wuold be important that a letter is also sent from NFF, as the implications of such a FTA with the EU would be deep for the Indian small-sclae fisworkers lives and livelihoods.
Matanhyji, Rambhauji, we would like to request that such a letter should go from NFF to the government.
If this is a good way to go about it, Rohan and I can prepare a first draft and send it by day after or so. Thomas, could we take your inputs in drafting this letter?
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