With several states strongly opposed to FDI in multi-brand retail sector, the Centre on Sunday made it clear the decision was taken by consensus and no state could decide for another or deprive them if they chose to go ahead with the reform measure.
"No state of the union can decide for another state or deprive the state which wants it. Only those 10 states who have wanted it in writing have been notified. The others can join," commerce, industry and textiles minister Anand Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of a function.
He was replying to a question on how the Centre proposed to pass it in Parliament with some states opposing it.
".. Consensus must never be confused with unanimity. What we have done is fair, democratic and respecting the very spirit of the Constitution," he said.
Noting that there are states which have reservations over FDI, he said implementation of the decision has been left entirely to them.
"Those states which do not want to implement, it is their decision and we will respect that. Similarly, those states which are keen to implement it, including fruit and vegetable producing states, border states, agrarian states, their right has to be respected. Each state can decide for itself."
He said government had taken a considered view after consulting all stakeholders and looking at ground realities.
"The aspirations and needs of farmers,the realisation to create an integrated value chain, creating the necessary infrastructure in rural India by ensuring investment, both Indian and foreign investment, the government did consult in a transparent and democratic manner," he said.
"This is a decision, which has received, like any other major decisions, a mixed response. The government sincerely tried to being about a consensus and we have a consensus," he added.