New Delhi: Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma accused the main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of maintaining double standard on the FDI issue. The Minister also termed the ongoing protest by BJP an attempt to divert the attention of people from national issues.

Talking to Dainik Jagran, the Minister said in 2002 it was BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) that had first proposed the full opening up of the retail sector.

He said, “They should tell the truth, why they are taking U-turn”. Earlier on August 03, the Union Minister had briefed BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad inside the Upper House over the issue and also informed the House about government’s intention to allow 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail.

The Commerce Minister also asserted on July 9, 2010, the proposed draft of the decision was published on the website of Commerce Ministry.

The government also sent the copies of proposal to MPs and leading retailers, at that time the government received feedback on 173 copies.

As far as the state is concerned, consumer forum of the Ministry has asked the state governments views. In December 2010, a joint team of secretaries re-considered the proposed draft and on July 22, the committee submitted its findings to the government.

According to the Commerce Minister, the decision was not taken in haste, but after a lot of consideration. The details of several rounds of parleys are available with the Ministry. He added, “All records are accessible and they are saying decision was taken in hurry. All such allegations are wrong.”

JPN/Bureau