Amul boss, R S Sodhi warns Centre on deal with EU


Even as India and the European Union (EU) continue negotiations on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA), makers of India's leading dairy brand Amul have urged the Union commerce ministry to not overlook the interests of farmers here while signing any deal related to dairy products.

R S Sodhi, the managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which markets Amul brand of products, has written a letter to Commerce Minister Anand Sharma asking him to not "provide any kind of advantage in import duty on dairy products (to EU)."

"It is important to note that EU does not permit import of dairy products from India in the name of SPS (sanitary-and-phyto-sanitary) measures saying that Indian milch animals are not maintained as per the EU standards and hence the dairy products are not safe for consumption," he wrote in the letter released for the press Tuesday.

He wrote that while EU gave incentives to its own farmers on export of dairy products so they could penetrate foreign markets, including India which is a "very large and growing market," it did not give access to Indian dairy products to its own market with large NRI population.

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