Ekta Agreement

See attached the 10 points of the land rights agreement signed between Ekta Parishad and the Indian government. In 2012, Ekta Parishad was responsible for organizing and carrying out a march of more than 100,000 landless people over 300 km (from Gwalior to Delhi) to demand land rights. Following a “written agreement” between Ekta Parishad and the Indian government, a new “National Reform Policy” and the National Homestead Land Rights Act were introduced. These policies and the legal framework have benefited a large number of people on the ground. On 8 October, a delegation from Ekta Parishad met Ramesh again in New Delhi. [2] An agreement was reached and the march to Agra was halted. The two main points of the agreement were: we are pleased to inform you that EKTA has recently signed a dealer contract with GRANTEQ. The recent round of high-level talks between Sri Lanka and India has focused on smoothing the rules and raising awareness so that a framework agreement can be drawn up in the next two months, the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade said in a statement yesterday. The 4th meeting of the Minister of Trade between India and Sri Lanka took place last week in Delhi. The new framework, called the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), which places the current India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA) at the next stage, was discussed by both sides.

“Our proposed framework calls for the exclusion of Sri Lanka`s liberalisation of the professional workforce, with the exception of two sub-sectors, namely shipbuilders and information technology professionals,” the statement said. In order to improve access to the Indian market, the Sri Lankan delegation highlighted a number of problems facing local exporters in the Indian market and which the Indian side will address in parallel with the negotiations on the framework agreement and the final ETCA. The signing of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) on standards was also discussed. In addition, in January/February 2016, the Indian side will hold workshops in Sri Lanka for Sri Lankan exporters/officials to raise public awareness of Indian standards, regulations, certificates of origin and other measures. Both sides are working to reach the framework agreement and the ETCA by mid-2016 by February 2016. India is Sri Lanka`s largest and most balanced trading partner. In total, bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded $4.5 billion in 2014. India is the main source of imports after Sri Lanka and the third largest destination for Sri Lankan exports. It is one of the top five major investors in Sri Lanka and most of Sri Lanka`s foreign direct investment abroad is in India.

ETCA will support this approach on the basis of this solid foundation, taking into account the asymmetry between the two countries, the ministry said. “For a small country like Sri Lanka, it is always advantageous to have rules-based trade with a larger trading partner like India, and ETCA will provide this framework for deeper economic engagement with India.” Several meetings were held between Ekta Parishad representatives and government ministers between 20 and 24 September, but no agreement was reached.