Secretary general of Europe-India Chamber of Commerce (EICC) Sunil Prasad said Indian mangoes and vegetables are being imported to Europe for centuries and by banning these, the European Union has once again showed “its immaturity and utter nonsense in policy decisions.”
Prasad noted that there are countries in Africa and Asia where the cultivation and packaging process of imported mangoes are far worse than India. By singling out India, he said, “EU has demonstrated its complete disrespect and unbalanced attitude towards the existing negotiation on a free trade agreement.”
Knowing pretty well that the election process is under way in the world’s largest democracy to elect a new government, Prasad said the EU should have waited for a few weeks more and discussed this with the new government.
The EU’s standing committee on plant health recently said that it found 207 consignments of fruits and vegetables from India imported into the EU in 2013 to be contaminated by fruit flies and other quarantine pests.
The produces banned include mangoes, eggplant, taro plant, bitter gourd and snake gourd.
Prasad hoped that EU will rethink its decision and create a conducive environment where issues of bilateral trade could be discussed with the new government in New Delhi.
He observed that although the WTO agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary measures allows countries to set their own standards, it also says regulations must be based on science and they should be applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health.
Brussels-based EICC is focused on promoting bilateral trade, investment and economic relations between the European Union and India.