Showing dissatisfaction over the central Govt decision to allow the FDI in retail, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in his latter to Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Anand Sharma stated that the state government is committed to protect the interests of petty traders and entrepreneurs by not allowing implementation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail markets in the State.

Chief Minister said that a large number of educated unemployed were engaged in petty trades in different parts of the State and with the coming of FDI they would find difficult to ensure both ends meet and would have no sources of income. He expressed surprise over the misleading statement made by Shri Anand Sharma about the stand taken by Himachal Pradesh on FDI in the debate in Lok Sabha to seek consent of the Parliament to allow FDI and termed the same as concocted and contrary to the facts. He said that Anand Sharma had never communicated with the State Government at any level to seek consent about implementation of FDI in the State. He said that BJP Government had always been opposing the FDI in the country and same was the case in Himachal Pradesh. He said that the State Government was committed for not allowing the FDI in retail in any manner in the State.

Prof. Dhumal said that State Government had been repeatedly requesting Anand Sharma to increase import duty on apples to protect the interests of apple growers of the State but the same had not even been acknowledged by him. He said that apple cultivation happened to be a major income generating activity of the fruit growers of the State and it was within the jurisdiction of the Union Government to levy heavy duty to discourage import of apple from foreign countries. He said that it was during NDA regime at the Centre that besides increasing import duty various restrictions had been imposed upon import of apple which had benefited growers by fetching reasonably good price for their produce. He said that FDI was not in the larger interest of the country where major chunk of population was engaged in petty trades of goods and commodities, which with coming of FDI would result in making crores of people in the country jobless thereby making them push in economic hardship. He requested the Union Minister to take into consideration the economic status of poor and down trodden in the country.

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