Chandigarh: The Centre on Thursday made it clear that there would be no forward movement on implementation of FDI in multi-brand retail in the near future, saying several Chief Ministers are yet to respond and there was an effort to build a consensus.
     
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma made it evident after meeting Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal at Chandigarh during which he appeared to have got no consent on implementing the controversial decision.
     
"Since our country is a Union of states, we abide by its federal character and therefore are bound by the consensus on the issue...several Chief Ministers were yet to respond so therefore the matter was held in abeyance," Sharma said.
     
He said that before taking a final decision on the issue, he would like all the Chief Ministers to respond.
     
The decision to allow 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail was announced in November last year. But its implementation was put on hold after a strong protest from various parties including key UPA-ally Trinamool Congress.
     
After that, the government has renewed its efforts to forge a consensus on the politically-sensitive issue.
     
Sharma also said: "initially when we came out (with the policy), Punjab had extended its support in writing which we received. Later on because of BJP opposition and Punjab was heading for an election, they (SAD) did changed their position".
     
When asked about number of states supporting the decision he said: "it is not a question of numbers. Every state, as per the constitution, has same right. States, which does not want can not deny other states".

(Agencies)

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