Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Wednesday defended the government's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail move during a debate in the Lok Sabha on the issue and said the decision on the matter was not taken 'overnight'.
"FDI policy is not an overnight decision of the government. It is important to understand the context of the decision," Sharma said.
He urged the House to reject the motion against FDI.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Jatanata Party (BJP) leader and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said: "The debate on FDI that has been going on since Tuesday was detailed and meaningful.
"I am happy to say that 14 of the 18 political parties in the House have gone against FDI. Four parties have however supported the government´s decision."
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) lawmakers walked out of the Lok Sabha on Wednesday ahead of the voting on the FDI in multi-brand retail, paving the way for the UPA government to win the vote.
The 43 lawmakers of the two parties, which lend outside support to United Progressive Alliance (UPA), walked out when Sharma was defending the government decision on FDI in retail and before Swaraj spoke.