India likely to sign FTA with EU this year

Chennai: India is hopeful of signing the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union this year and negotiations are at an `advanced stage`, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said on Saturday.

"We are in advanced stages in negotiations for signing the Free Trade Agreement with European Union..It will happen this year..", Sharma told reporters here.

The proposed FTA would be beneficial to the Indian industry, he said, adding, government was also proposing to sign similar agreements with Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

"We are also looking to sign (FTAs) with New Zealand, Canada and Australia..", he said.

In reply to a question on BJP demanding resignation of Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran on allegations of quid pro quo in awarding spectrum to Aircel, he merely said, "it was for the concerned person to respond…"

Reacting to Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev going on indefinite fast against corruption and black money, he said his colleagues in the government had been talking to those who have opted to sit on fast, without elaborating.

"I will be very happy if all those who believe in activism take up larger issues like unemployment, poverty eradication, illiteracy and female infanticide", he said.

Sharma was here to take stock of the issues faced by exporters at a meeting organised by Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation, South Indian Chamber of Commerce and Association and Tiruppur Exporters Association.