On opposition to allowing 51% FDI in multi-brand retail, he said "most parties want this but they have their political compulsions".
Asked about the rise price of diesel, he said the government imports 80% of the diesel required by the country.
"If the prices are not raised, diesel will not be available to the people," he said.
He evaded queries on the alleged irregularities in coal block allotment and instead asked "whether the people would not like to have power which is produced from coal".
The Union law and minority affairs minister was speaking on the sidelines of a programme organised by Centre for Reserch and Debates in Development Policy.