Himachal Pradesh Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Friday wrote to Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Anand Sharma conveying the government’s decision not to allow FDI in multi-brand retail in the state.
“The BJP government is committed to protect the interests of petty traders and entrepreneurs by not allowing implementation of foreign direct investment... 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 have no sources of income,” wrote Dhumal.
Saying that Sharma had never communicated with the state government at any level to seek consent about implementation of FDI in Himachal, Dhumal said: “The BJP government has always been opposing the FDI in the country and same was the case in Himachal Pradesh. The government is committed for not allowing the FDI in retail in any manner in the state.”
He added that Himachal Pradesh has been repeatedly asking Sharma to increase import duty on apples to protect the interests of the growers but the same had not been acknowledged by him.
“Apple cultivation happens to be a major income generating activity for fruit growers in the state and it was within the Centre’s jurisdiction to levy heavy duty to discourage import of apple from foreign countries... During NDA regime, besides increasing import duty, various restrictions were imposed upon import of apple which benefited growers by fetching reasonably good price for their produce,” he wrote.