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FTAs will be signed only after consultation with all stakeholders: Goyal

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Amid speculation of a likely delay in the India-UK FTA, commerce minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that free trade agreements (FTAs) would be signed only after thorough consultation with all stakeholders and that the government would not diverge from this approach for the “sake of deadlines”.

Commerce secretary B V R Subrahmanyam last month said that negotiations for the proposed free trade agreement between India and the UK are at the last stage and the Diwali deadline i.e. in October would not be missed.

“The union minister of commerce and industry Piyush Goyal today said that India would accord top priority to national interest in FTA negotiations. FTAs to be entered into after thorough consultation with all stakeholders including industry and the government will not diverge from this approach for the sake of deadlines,” the commerce ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman, in reference to the FTA with India, had expressed concerns about having an open borders migration policy. Mint had reported that India is looking to get greater access for its professionals in the services sector in the UK.

The India-UK FTA deal is expected to boost the domestic textile sectors as it would help duty-free access putting it at par with prominent textile exporters such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

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