Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Sunday said the government is ready to face any challenge from the opposition during the winter session of Parliament on its executive move to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the multi-brand retail sector.
Questioning the opposition for objecting to what was essentially an executive decision, and the need of the hour to bring the Indian economy around in the midst of a global meltdown, Sharma said: "Never in the history of Indian democracy have executive decisions been dragged into Parliament. The Government is confident of facing any challenge and will continue with the good work. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi have demonstrated that this policy is cast in stone."
Sharma was briefing media accompanying Dr. Singh to the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
"It is high time, reality dawns on all of us that sensationalism in recent years has caused enormous damage to India's image and hurt the economy. There has been constant dialogue and so I am surprised by this talk about good and bad timing executive decision," he added.
"The decision was taken after intensive consultations with stakeholders for over two years. The Government has responded constantly and being a union of states decision, has left the decision to implement or not to implement to member states," he said.
"Agrarian states who have been urging the importance of this initiative can't be denied," he added.
The government is facing the prospect of dealing with a opposition-sponsored motion entailing voting on FDI and even a possible threat of a no-confidence motion.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday announced that her party would bring a no confidence motion against the UPA government in the winter session.
The TMC had withdrawn support from the UPA, after the government allowed FDI in multi-brand retail and hiked the diesel prices along with capping the subsidized LPG cylinders at six per household a year.
The Winter Session of Parliament will begin on November 22. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)