In the wake of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy denying his support to FDI in multi- brand retail, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma today said states which want to allow global retailers to open stores "cannot be prevented".
Contrary to his earlier statement that seven Chief Minsters, including Chandy, have given their written commitment on allowing FDI in the politically sensitive sector, Sharma said Kerala has its reservations over the issue.
"What Chief Minister of Kerala had said, that is in public domain, he had made a statement...That there are states who have reservations and Kerala has its reservations, and Kerala may not implement it. However, he did say that they also respect the rights of the other states," he said.
The Minister said that those states who want to allow global retailers to open stores "they cannot be prevented".
Chandy has yesterday said there was no change in the state's opposition to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector and the state government had not sent any letter to the Centre giving consent for it.
"...Neither Chief Minister (Chandy) has said something which can be faulted, or objected, nor I have said anything which is being objected to," he added.
After the strong opposition by the UPA government's key ally Trinamool Congress, the Centre has suspended its decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail sector.
After that, the commerce and industry ministry has started fresh consultations with stakeholders and state government for early implementation of the policy.
"Well I fail to understand why this controversy is being created. There has been a national discussion, as the government has been engaged in the efforts to build a consensus after the decision was taken to have FDI in multi- brand retail...We will talk to all the stakeholders and the states concerned," he said.
The Minister said that they are talking to the Chief Ministers of large agrarian states such as Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Padesh and Punjab on the issue.
"The fact is that we recognise those states who are in favour of it. It is their right. There are states who have reservations, we have to respect their wishes too," he added.