RS concurrence needed on retail FDI, says expert

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 21:53 hrs

It is not enough for only the Lok Sabha to clear the decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailing, said a constitutional expert.

After today’s Lok Sabha nod, the government’s floor managers in Parliament had said Rajya Sabha clearance (the government is in RS) was not needed for implementing the decision and the related modifications in the Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema)

Constitutional scholar Subhash C Kashyap told Business Standard, “Under Lok Sabha Rules 234-239, the legislations and rules and regulations passed by one House would be sent to the other House for concurrence.” He said concurrence of both was a must in this case. If the Rajya Sabha differed, the matter should be sent back to the Lok Sabha, he said.

Else, he warned, the government move would be challenged in court.

A Congress party floor manager said the government was working on the premise that if both Houses don’t negate the motion, the government can proceed. With this in mind, the government clubbed the motions for discussion and debate on FDI in multi-brand retail and changes in Fema. And, even if it gets defeated in the Rajya Sabha, there is no problem for the government on implementation.

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