Congress-led UDF not to allow retail FDI in Kerala

Oommen Chandy

Congress-led UDF government in Kerala today said FDI would not be allowed in the retail sector in the state and that the Centre had been informed of its view that there was no change in its stand.

"FDI will not be allowed in the retail sector during the tenure of this government. There is no change in the government stand, for which we have got the permission of the central leadership," Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said.

He was replying to a notice for an adjournment motion in the Assembly on the crisis in traditional industrial sectors like coir, cashew, fishing, textile, beedi and toddy tapping.

Chandy said UDF MPs from the state stood united on the issue but voted in favour of FDI in Parliament because of the party whip and had to adhere to party discipline.

The government had also informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the party leadership of its decision, he said when asked by Opposition leader and CPI-M veteran V S Achuthanandan if UDF had changed its policy on the matter.

Achuthanandan brought to the notice of the House Walmart's disclosure that it had spent money for lobbying. "I want to know whether your approach to traditional sector will the same as to FDI", he said, referring to UDF Mps voting in favour of FDI in Parliament.

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