‘Cong will open doors to FDI in HP’
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Union minister for Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma, on Saturday said Congress would allow retail FDI in Himachal Pradesh if elected into power. The state is going to polls on November 4. Sharma said the decision would be taken keeping in mind larger consumer interests and to provide farmers an opportunity to boost their income. "Dhumal has harmed the interests of farmers by opposing and delaying FDI in retail and the Congress if returned to power will allow FDI in retail," Sharma said.
The minister also attacked the BJP for indulging in political opportunism and pursuing a partisan agenda to oppose FDI in retail.
Addressing a press conference, Sharma accused Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal of flip-flopping over the issue of FDI and claimed that they changed their stance due to political considerations under pressures from national leadership. "At least 10 other states including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and other North eastern states support FDI in retail but BJP has a political agenda," he added.
Claiming that interests of small traders and growers have been fully protected under the FDI policy, Sharma said growers would have access to integrated infrastructure with storage, marketing and processing facilities which would go a long way in strengthening their economy.
Rejecting charges that the Centres had gone back on revolving consensus among stake holders before taking a decision on FDI, Sharma said: "Consensus must never be confused with unanimity. What we have done is fair, democratic and in spirit of the Constitution. It's fully backed by the Congress."
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