Himachal, Gujarat wanted FDI, says Sharma

Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Sunday claimed that that two BJP-ruled states, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat made a 'U-turn' on the issue after initially agreeing on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail.

"Gujarat and Himachal gave in writing that they want FDI but after BJP's started opposing it (Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra) Modi took a U-turn," Sharma said.

Addressing a Congress rally at Gandhinagar ahead of Gujarat Assembly elections next month, Sharma also appealed to BJP to stop protesting against the FDI in retail saying the policy will not only generate more job opportunities but also protect the interest of small traders.

"FDI will bring in more employment...I ask Modi and BJP why are they protesting against it?," he said.

Dispelling the perception that FDI spells doom for small traders, he said, "When McDonald and Pizza Hut came then also they protested saying business would go... but they also flourished...Nathu sweets, Bikaner shops have flourished and expanded."

Sharma said the Centre is discussing the issue of FDI with 10 states having large produce like Maharashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan. "The states will decide whether they want FDI or not," he said.

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