Highlights of Lok Sabha debate on FDI in retail

The UPA government has won the vote on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in Lok Sabha.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The UPA government on Wednesday comfortably won the vote on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in Lok Sabha.

A total of 253 members - out of the 471 present and voting - voted against the motion on FDI moved by Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, implying they were in favour of foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. 218 members voted in favour of the Opposition’s motion.

The UPA government also won the vote on FEMA amendment in Lok Sabha by 254 to 224 votes. 478 members were present and voting.

Earlier, a spirited debate was held for two days on FDI in multi-brand retail in Lok Sabha. Here are the highlights of the debate held on Wednesday:

Sushma Swaraj

  • Debate on FDI in multi-brand retail concludes in Lok Sabha.
  • Sushma tells House to vote in favour of motion against FDI in retail.
  • Had Mulayam Singh voted today, there would have been no FDI in retail, says Sushma.
  • The government has insulted farmers and small retailers, says Mulayam Singh.
  • Decision on FDI in retail influenced by foreign firms, will boycott voting on FDI, says Mulayam Singh.
  • 22 MPs participated in the FDI debate, they represent 18 parties... Of the 18 parties, 14 spoke against FDI in retail, says Sushma.
  • Sushma points out government’s contradictions, says those in big cars will only buy from the Wal-Mart and other foreign retailers and not the common man.
  • Voters in Kapil Sibal’s Chandni Chowk constituency against FDI in retail, says Sushma.
  • Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj responds to government’s reply on FDI debate.

    Anand Sharma

  • After SP-BSP walkout, Lok Sabha’s strength falls to 500. The UPA government needs 251 votes to win the voting on FDI debate.
  • SP MPs also walk out of the Lok Sabha.
  • Sharma tells House to reject the motions against FDI in retail.
  • Ahead of the FDI vote, BSP MPs walk out of the Lok Sabha.
  • There is a difference between consensus and unanimity, says Sharma, adding we would have to wait forever to achieve unanimity on FDI in retail.
  • Opposition can`t tell an elected government what to choose and what not, says Sharma.
  • Our sons and daughters will get jobs if FDI is allowed in the retail sector, says the minister.
  • I acknowledge that if the government went back on the assurance on FDI in retail made in Parliament, that`s a serious charge. However, the charge is far from the truth, says Anand Sharma.
  • Govt committed to consensus and consultation on FDI, says the minister.
  • Twelve farmer unions were consulted about allowing FDI in retail sector, says the Commerce Minister
  • BJP asked us why the government changed its stand. Our question is, why did they change their stand, asks Sharma.
  • Organised retail sector just accounts for 2% of retail sales in India.
  • McDonald’s started making aloo tikki burger after entering India. Indians would not let go of their palate, says the minister.
  • Haldiram’s now has 38 stores worldwide. Bikarnerwala is a Rs 1000 crore company with 85 stores across the world, says Sharma.
  • Indian food giants like Haldiram’s have flourished and opened stores across the world.
  • Fears over entry of foreign retailers unfounded. Same fears were expressed when KFC etc were allowed entry into India.
  • Price realisation of Indian farmers is 15% to16 %, the minister says.
  • India an agrarian state; 55% to 60% population still survives on agriculture, says Sharma.
  • India second in the world in foodgrain production, first in the world in milk production, the minister says, but adds we need to have proper food management system in place.
  • Relevant factors considered before allowing FDI in retail, says Sharma.
  • FDI policy not an overnight decision of the government, says Sharma. We need to know the background, he adds.
  • Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma begins replying to the FDI debate in Parliament.

    Deepender Hooda

  • Hooda advocates options for the farmers to sell produce. He adds local kirana stores can coexist with foreign retailers.
  • Deepender Hooda says he cannot fathom the BJP’s opposition to FDI in retail.
  • JD(S) chief Deve Gowda opposes FDI in multi-brand retail.

    Lalu Yadav

  • Nescafe peene walon, poocho Advaniji se Twitter ka istemal kyun kartein hain, woh videshi nahi hain kya, says Lalu.
  • I don`t even keep a cell phone, these people (BJP) keep it next to their hearts. They travel in fancy cars, coupe in trains, says Lalu.
  • Their (BJP) PM candidate travels all over the world inviting FDI in his state but they say they are against FDI, says Lalu.
  • Lalu Prasad takes on MM Joshi, says when you were a minister you taught astrology, today you are lecturing youth and farmers on FDI.
  • High heels and shoes that is used for our feet is sold in malls, the food that we respect as God is sold on the footpath, says the RJD supremo.
  • Lalu says foreign retailers will sell coffee, vegetables, meat, fish.
  • Farmers are not getting good price for their produce, need to eliminate middlemen, says Lalu.
  • Lalu backs government policy, says no compulsion on states to permit FDI.
  • BJP strongly supported FDI in retail in its 2002 manifesto, says Lalu.
  • Lalu Yadav resumes his speech, says he strongly objects to Leader of Opposition`s motion on FDI in retail.

    Murli Manohar Joshi

  • Wal-Mart will not increase competition; it will destroy markets, says Joshi.
  • We know whatever little there was in the NDA document (on FDI) was wrong; why don`t you accept you are wrong? MM Joshi to govt
  • Didn`t the then Congress chief whip Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi once called FDI in multi-brand retail anti-national? Joshi points out.
  • Joshi says FDI which was once anti-national has now become national. How?
  • FDI in retail was not in the manifesto of BJP in 2004 or 2009. How can Kapil Sibal put his thoughts in our manifesto? says Joshi.
  • Implement FDI in multi-brand retail all over the country, says Joshi.
  • If FDI is good for the country, then why is it optional in the states? asks MM Joshi.
  • BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi asks if FDI is beneficial for India, then why is the government giving concessions?
  • FDI debate resumes in Lok Sabha after Lalu takes back ‘Jamure’ jibe.
  • Lok Sabha adjourned till 3.30 pm amid pandemonium.
  • The Lok Sabha Chair expunges the word ‘Jamure’ from records. Lalu insists the word ‘Jamure’ is not unparliamentary; says it means ‘khiladi’.
  • Protests erupt as Lalu Yadav taunts BJP, calls its MPs ‘Jamure’.
  • Pandemonium in Parliament as RJD’s Lalu Yadav joins debate on FDI.

    Gurudas Dasgupta

  • Government wants to signal to MNCs that India is a favoured destination for foreign investment, says Dasgupta.
  • The government believes economic situation of the country is grim. And it believes FDI will rescue the Indian economy from the crisis, says Dasgupta.
  • Hitting out at FDI in retail, CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta said the PM was ready to sacrifice the government for Wal-Mart.
  • Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD)’s Jayant Chaudhary backs FDI in retail, says farmers need an alternative.

    Praful Patel

  • We had sent back Coca Cola. But it was allowed back in; the company acquired Parle’s Thums Up and tried to replace it with Coke. But Thums Up is still more popular in India than Coca Cola, says Patel.
  • Even India businesses are taking over foreign companies, says Patel.
  • It is a two-way market, says Patel, adding outsourcing which benefits India is being vehemently opposed in America.
  • Why are you not opposing malls? Because your leaders are constructing malls, Patel says pointing at the Opposition benches.
  • Readymade furniture from China is being sold in my area. Even idols are being imported from foreign countries because of liberalisation, says Patel.
  • NCP’s Praful Patel defends FDI in retail, says it will not affect the small businessman. The small retailer should be protected, he adds.
  • Shiv Sena’s Anant Geete said his party strongly opposes FDI in multi-brand retail.
  • Retail FDI could lead to social unrest, adds Mahtab.
  • BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab says they cannot legitimise what will mean death for the small retailer.
  • Government responsible for not letting the Rajya Sabha function, says Jaitley, adding it doesn’t want a vote on FDI in Upper House.
  • As Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day following ruckus, BJP’s Arun Jaitley accuses the government of not allowing the Upper House to run.

    Sharad Yadav

  • Why are diesel car owners being given subsidy? Why was Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy removed? asks Sharad Yadav.
  • Government has made only a handful prosperous, says Yadav.
  • Retail FDI will not benefit India, says Yadav.
  • Government should withdraw FDI in retail, says Yadav. If FDI in retail is not rolled back, people of this country will punish the government, he adds.
  • We are not against the market, says Yadav.
  • If we wanted to topple the government, then we would have supported TMC’s no-trust motion, says Yadav.
  • Sharad Yadav equates FDI debate to Indo-US nuclear deal, says no intention to topple the government.
  • JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav says the government is concerned only about the market, not the country.

    Basudeb Acharia

  • Will welcome FDI only if it increases productivity, says CPI(M)’s Basudeb Acharia.
  • FDI in retail will lead to unemployment, says Acharia. Govt should rethink over it, he adds.
  • Bad policy forcing farmers to sell produce at low prices, says CPI(M)’s Acharia.
  • Will Wal-Mart open cold storage in India? asks Acharia.
  • Don’t want to react to the speech made by Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, says PM.
  • Why would we have a debate if we are not sure of the numbers, says Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.