Antwerp: India has assured global investors that the country will move forward with its decision to open multi-brand retail to foreign investment and it has not pressed the "reverse button" on the proposal.

Following strong protests from its key ally Trinamool Congress, the UPA government has suspended its decision to allow 51 percent FDI in the politically sensitive multi-brand retail sector.

"We know that partisan politics delayed the implementation or notification (of FDI in multibrand retail). We had to press the pause button, but we have not pressed the reverse button", Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said while addressing the Global India Business Meeting 2012 here.

Sharma, who is leading a two-day high-level business delegation to Belgium, said the government is in the process of liberalising foreign investment regime in the country.

The decision to open multi-brand retail to FDI was taken by the Cabinet, he said, adding "the decision stands and I can say with absolute clarity in my mind that the country and the government are committed to go forward. We do not believe in faltering".

He said that the decision was taken in the interest of farmers and consumers.

"We had made it very clear that we will have more consultations to arrive at a consensus. The government is engaged in that exercise. I have reached out to chief-ministers of non-Congress states," the visiting minister said.

The Minister had written letters to the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Odisha seeking their support on the issues.

"We are a union of states and I ensure that spirit of the constitution is respected.


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