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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Shimla, December 07, 2012
The state government is committed to protect the interests of petty traders and entrepreneurs by not allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in retail markets in the state. In a written communiqué to union minister of commerce and industries Anand Sharma, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has cleared the stand of the state government on FDI.


The chief minister said that a large number of educated unemployed youth were engaged in petty trades in different parts of the state and with the coming of FDI they feared to lose their livelihoods to big business houses.

He expressed surprise over the misleading and concocted statement made by Sharma about the stand taken by Himachal Pradesh on FDI in the debate in Lok Sabha. He said Sharma had never communicated with the state government at any level to seek consent about the implementation of FDI in the state.

Dhumal said that the BJP government had always been opposing the FDI in the country and THE same was the case in Himachal Pradesh. The state government was committed for not allowing the FDI in retail in any manner in the state, he said.

He said that state government had been repeatedly requesting Sharma to increase the import duty on apple to protect the interests of apple growers of the state but the same had not even been acknowledged by him.

The apple cultivation happens to be a major income-generating activity of the fruit growers of the state and it is within the jurisdiction of the union government to levy heavy duty to discourage import of apple from foreign countries, he said.

Dhumal 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 the 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 downtrodden masses in the country.