Government has won the approval of Parliament to its decision of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail with a motion against it being defeated convincingly in Rajya Sabha, as BSP voted in favour of UPA.
123 members voted against the motion while 109 voted in favour after a two-day animated debate during which the Opposition attacked the proposal to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, while the government strongly justified it saying it was in the best interest of the country.
Samajwadi Party, which has nine members in the House, staged a walkout expressing dissatisfaction over Commerce Minister Anand Sharma’s reply.
The defeat of the motion moved by AIADMK member V Maitreyan in the Rajya Sabha came two days after the Lok Sabha voted out a similar motion, paving the way for entry of global supermarkets like Walmart into the country.
The government’s victory in Rajya Sabha, where UPA lacks a majority of its own, came with the help of 15-member BSP, which had walked out of the Lok Sabha during voting on the issue.UPA has 94 members in the Upper House which has an effective strength of 244.
Erlier in the day, the house resumed the debate on the issue.Replying to the debate Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said that Government has done extensive consultations on the issue.The minister said Chief Ministers of 14 states including Punjab, West Bengal and Bihar were consulted on this issue.
Stating that this will lead to more employment generation in cities and villages alike, the minister also laid at rest all apprehensions that small traders will be affected by the decision.
The Commerce Minister refuted the allegation that he had violated the assurance given to Parliament on December 7 last year that decision on FDI was suspended until there was a consensus among the stakeholders.However, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said Mr Sharma never wrote a letter to them after 7th December 2011.
The house was adjourned till 2:30 after an uproar when NK Singh of JDU tried to give clarification on the statement made by Commerce and Industry minister Anand Sharma regarding permitting FDI in retail by the NDA government.
BJP led opposition continued to accuse Sharma of misleading the House.Participating in the debate this morning BJP leader Shanta Kumar said that the Government is not paying attention to sectors which requires FDI like initiatives.
Opposing the Government’s decision on FDI in retail, JDU leader Shivanand Tiwari said policies being framed by Centre are affecting environment and culture of this country.
TMC leader Sukhendu Shekhar Roy termed Foreign Direct Investment as foreign direct intrusion.Speaking on the issue, CPI leader D Raja said that his party disapproves the Government’s decision.He said that the the FDI policy is based deliberately on three myths – of employment generation, benefiting farmers and help consumers.
Supporting the Government’s decision of FDI, LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan said that it help in bringing down inflation.
Ruling out any additional borrowing in the remaining part of the current fiscal, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said the government will be able to accommodate the enhanced outgo within the present limit.He was speaking to reporters outside Parliament.