Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said that the government will not allow foreign direct investment in the retail sector in the State as long as the traders here oppose it.

Inaugurating the Vyapari Bhavan Auditorium constructed here by the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) on Saturday, the Chief Minister said the State government would not permit FDI in the retail sector without the consent of traders.

Though the State government was not totally opposed to foreign investment in the retail sector, the government would wait till the traders in the State gave its consent on clearing all its concerns about the Central government’s decision to allow FDI in the retail sector.

Mr. Chandy said the State government had informed the Centre of its decision to withhold the decision to allow foreign investment in the sector in the State.

The Centre had allowed each State to take its own decision of permitting the FDI in the retail sector, he said adding that the United Democratic Front government would not take any decision that would hurt the trading community in the State.

He said the government was giving top priority to the development of North Malabar region.

Flays IOC

Complimenting the role of the trading community here in rendering services in the wake of the gas tanker tragedy at Chala, the Chief Minister said the government had done everything it could do in the emergency situation following the tragedy.

He said the stand of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), whose tanker had exploded leaving 20 people dead and as many injured, was not justifiable.

The IOC had so far given only Rs.1 crore despite the earlier assurances regarding the entire amount to be paid in compensation for the loss of lives and properties, he said. The government would take recourse to legal measures to get the entire compensation amount from the IOC, he said.

KVVES State president T. Nasiruddin. K. Sudhakaran, MP, A.P. Abdullakutty, MLA, municipal chairperson M.C. Sreeja, and KVVES district president Devasya Mecheri were among those present at the function.

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