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FDI debate triggers uproar in Lok Sabha

Source : IBNS
Last Updated: Tue, Dec 04, 2012 18:36 hrs

Uproar was witnessed in Lok Sabha over the debate on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-party retail on Tuesday and all hell broke loose when leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj was speaking.

Swaraj said the government did not take the lawmakers or parties into confidence while making the decisions despite promises to do so made earlier by present President Pranab Mukherjee, who was then the Finance Minister.

Swaraj said they were stubborn over the issue because the government did not consult them.



"The government is showcasing figures, but no one knows from where those figures come," she said, and asked if companies like Wal-Mart would offer loans to farmers when they need it.

For quite some time there were shouting as she spoke and attacked the government over their claims.

Speaker Meira Kumar later pacified them and Swaraj resumed speaking.

Swaraj said China would benefit while there would be darkness in Indian homes.

The Lok Sabha is discussing FDI in multi-brand retail on Tuesday. The debate will be carried out under Rule 184 that entails voting.

The Congress has been saying that it has the numbers. However, the NDA, the Left parties, AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and some other parties are against FDI.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), led by Mayawati, on Monday kept her FDI cards close to her chest, saying she would reveal her party stand on the floor of the House while calling that the FDI in retail as hurtful to small traders but keeping her options open by pointing out that the advantage of the proposal on FDI is that states are free to take their own decisions on allowing it in their territories.

There are indications that Mayawati would support the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on the crucial vote in Parliament only if the promotion quota bill is passed first.

The controversial promotion quota bill envisages reservation to SCs and STs in government job promotions.

Lok Sabha would have vote on the FDI in retail on Tuesday and Wednesday but in Rajya Sabha it stands a crucial test since the Congress lacks adequate numbers in the upper house.

The FDI debate under Rule 168, which entails voting, is set to take place in the Rajya Sabha on Dec 6 and 7.

The support of Mayawati and her rival Mulayam Singh Yadav´s Samajwadi Party are crucial for the government in Rajya Sabha.

Mayawati said FDI in retail will make the Indian economy a slave and cause unemployment, adding that she would take a proper decision only at the right time on the floor of the House.

Mayawati also said that she is against indirectly supporting communal forces by her stand on the FDI issue, which leaves a room for Congress to negotiate with her on the issue.

"The only good thing is that the policy is not forced upon states," she said.

"We do not believe that FDI will ease inflation," she added.

The deadlock in both Houses of the Parliament over FDI in multi-brand retail ended on Thursday last after the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman allowed debate on the issue under rules that entail voting.

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