Anand Sharma is an Indian politician. He is the former Union Cabinet Minister in charge of Commerce, Industry and Textiles. He served as the Deputy Leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament from June 2014 to 2022 on the ticket of the Indian National Congress. In August 2022, he came into the limelight after he resigned from the chairmanship of the Indian National Congress’ steering committee for Himachal Pradesh after serving the party for fifty-one years.
Anand Sharma was born on Monday, 5 January 1953 (age 69 years; as of 2022) in Shimla, Punjab, India (now in Himachal Pradesh, India). His zodiac sign is Capricorn. In 1973, he completed a bachelor’s degree in Arts from R.P.C.S.D.B. College, Shimla. In 1977, he attained an LL.B degree from the faculty of law, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. He actively participated in the youth movement in India during his college days and also served as the leader of some prominent student unions. He was a part of the NSUI foundation group, which is a crucial student wing of the Indian National Congress Party. Later, after joining Indian National Congress, he served as the President of the Indian Youth Congress.
Anand Sharma (with folded hands) with former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is P.A. Sharma, and his mother’s name is Prabha Rani.
Wife & Children
On 23 February 1987, he got married to Zenobia Sharma, who is a non-practising doctor.
Anand Sharma (extreme left) and his wife meeting with former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi
The couple has two sons.
His permanent address is Prabhat Lodge, (Anand Bhawan), Kelston, Shimla – 171001.
Anand Sharma’s signature
From 1984 to 1986, he served as the Member of the Committee on Petitions in Rajya Sabha from Himachal Pradesh. From 1985 to 1988, he served as the Member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Lok Pal Bill. From 1987 to 1988, he served as the Member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Defence (India). From 1988 to 1990, he served as the Member of Committee on Government Assurances and Member of Press Council of India. From August 2004 to January 2006, he served as the Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence. From October 2004 to January 2006, he served the Ministry of External Affairs (India). On 29 January 2006, he was appointed as the Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs and served the position till 22 May 2009. He was appointed as the Minister of Commerce and Industry by the Government of India on 22 May 2009 on the ticket of the Indian National Congress. He served in the position till 26 May 2014. During his tenure in the Commerce Ministry, he focused on elevating the manufacturing sector of India by making huge investments and decreasing the credit cost of the same. He played a crucial role in the drafting of a global agreement for the Indo-US Nuclear Cooperation Agreement in 2008. In February 2012, he led a business delegation, which was organised to improve the trade relations between India and Pakistan. This delegation meeting was attended by more than 120 leaders from the two countries. During the conference, he focussed on the modification of the existing visa bilateral agreement to facilitate easy travel for bona fide business people from both countries. This agreement was earlier signed in 1974 with the former Minister of Commerce and Chambers of Pakistan, Makhdoom Muhammad Ameen Faheem.
Makhdoom Muhammad Ameen Faheem with Anand Sharma
When he was the minister of the Commerce and Industry department of India, he boosted several Foreign Investments in India by drafting several new manufacturing policies. In 2011, he advocated for the implementation of India’s first National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), which was drafted for the advancement of the manufacturing sector of India with the aim to boost it from 16 to 25 per cent of the GDP and to create 100 million skilled jobs in a decade. Soon after drafting this policy, the government of India established greenfield integrated manufacturing cities and sixteen NIMZ-National Investment and Manufacturing Zones across the nation. Later, he emphasised allowing Foreign Direct Investment in the Defence and Civil Aviation sector of India. He also focused on allowing a hundred per cent Foreign Direct Investment in retail and implemented the policy to allow Foreign Investors to open Multi-brand retail stores in India.
Anand Sharma with other Indian National Congress party leaders during a political rally
Thereafter, under his guidance. the government of India implemented the e-Biz Project, which was conceptualised for improving business and investment situations in the country. During his tenure as the Commerce and Industry Minister of India, India became the favoured hub for many Foreign Investors after the Global Economic Crises. Reportedly, during this period, India earned 190 billion US dollars from Foreign Direct Investment. According to some media sources, he attempted to increase the optimistic dividends for the country and the merchandise exports of India by making many amendments to the Foreign Trade Policy from 2010 to 2014 and helped in earning almost double profits than before. In December 2013, he played an important role at the IXth WTO Ministerial Meeting in Bali by protecting the rights of India and other developing countries in public stockholding of food grain for Food Security in their respective countries. This led to the approval of the first-ever agreement of the Ministry of Bali with the WTO including the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
Anand Sharma during a foreign delegation conference in Bali in 2013
In 2014, he delivered a speech at an International Conference held in Delhi, which was organised on the 125th Birth Anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. From 5 July 2010 to 9 March 2016, he served as the Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan Constituency. From 3 April 2016 to 2 April 2022, he served as the Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha from Himachal Pradesh Constituency. From 8 June 2014 to 2 April 2022, he served as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Apart from politics, he likes writing books on Indian history and its renowned Indian politicians. In 2007, he published his first book named Gandhian Way. In 2011, he released another book titled Journey of a Nation. In 2016, he wrote the book ‘Remembering Jawaharlal Nehru.’ In 2017, he released the book ‘India’s Indira.’
Awards, Honours, Achievements
On 10 November 2008, he was honoured with the Companion of the Order of the Volta at Ghana. On 14 January 2009, he earned the Commander of the National Order of the Ivory Coast award. In 2012, he was felicitated with a Special Award for his contribution to strengthening India-South Africa relations on the occasion of 150 Years of the First Arrival of Indians in South Africa.
- Deposits in Banks: Rs. 3,01,58,000
- Bonds, Debentures, and Shares: Rs. 2,00,000
- NSS, Postal Savings: Rs. 24,24,000
- LIC or other insurance Policies: Rs 12,00,000
- Motor Vehicles: Rs. 11,10,000
- Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 45,00,000
- Residential Buildings: Rs. 1,96,00,000 ((My Neta)
As of 2019, he has a net worth of Rs. 3.01 Crores. ((My Neta)
Note: Net worth excludes cash and bank deposits.
- In 2020, the G-23 leaders of INC wrote an explosive letter to Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He was among these leaders who raised their voices in the demand for major organisational changes in the party. In the letter, Anand Sharma wrote that the party leaders of INC were its co-owners and not slaves. He wrote,
We are the builders of this Congress. We are co-owners, we are not tenants or slaves… When we raise certain issues, why are we being condemned?”
Anand Sharma while attending a Himchal Pradesh Congress Committee conference
- Anand Sharma is associated with several Indian social and sports associations and often contributes to an Indian government non-profit organisation, which works in the disability sector of the nation.
- According to Anand Sharma, he likes playing Cricket, hiking, travelling to distant places, and reading books on philosophy and history in his leisure time. In a media conversation, he stated that he loved listening to music, especially Indian and western classical music.
- On 21 August 2022, he stepped out from the chairmanship of the steering committee of the Congress’s Himachal Pradesh unit. In a media conference, he pointed to the higher authorities of the INC for defamation and humiliation. He stated to the media that despite working hard for the party for his entire life, he was hurt and humiliated. He added that he was never invited to attend the major party meetings. He spoke,
I am not saying I am the only one… We all have challenges. I have had issues over the years where I could have withdrawn: Of a challenged autistic son”. “I gave up my profession, I gave up my life. I don’t need to be vilified. I am deeply hurt and humiliated. I am sorry.”
An old picture of Anand Sharma with Sonia Gandhi