UPA govt wins Parliament approval for FDI in retail
New Delhi: After the Lok Sabha, the UPA government on Friday secured an easy victory in the Rajya Sabha as well on the issue of permitting FDI in multi-brand retail. And armed with the victory, the government declared that there was no stopping India`s reform process.
The Opposition-backed motion against FDI in multi-brand retail could manage 102 votes while the government secured 123, of the total 212 MPs present in the House.
While the 15-member BSP openly sided with UPA with a positive vote, Samajwadi Party - which has nine members in the House - staged a walkout expressing dissatisfaction over Commerce Minister Anand Sharma`s reply. In all, 19 members did not vote on the motion.
One member, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, was away in Kolkata playing a match against England. Murli Deora (Congres), who is unwell, and rebel BJD leader Pyari Mohan Mahapatra were also absent.
The final tally came late at night after scrutiny of votes by Rajya Sabha Secretariat due to glitches in the automatic vote recording system. The earlier figure was 123 against the motion and 109 in its favour.
UPA has 94 members in the Upper House which has an effective strength of 244.
The vote capped a two-day animated debate during which the Opposition attacked the proposal to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail while the government strongly justified it saying it was in the best interest of the country.
The defeat of the motion moved by AIADMK member V Maitreyan in the Rajya Sabha came two days after the Lok Sabha voted out a similar motion.
The government’s victory paves the way for foreign equity in multi-brand retail in the country, a move seen as a major step forward in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s economic reforms process.
With this, global brands like Carrefour, Tesco and Wal-Mart can now set up stores in India.
As a disappointed Opposition claimed "moral victory" on the strength of the speeches made in the House over two days, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said after the vote: "Our reforms are on track."
Addressing the House during the debate, Commerce and Industries Minister Anand Sharma hit back at the Opposition and said the government had been "talking to everyone, farmers, traders, consumers, states".
Sharma slammed the Opposition for saying the FDI did not have the support of most MPs even if the final vote went in favour of the treasury benches.
"We challenge them," he said. "If we are a minority government, let them bring a no-confidence motion (against us)."
The government also held inter-ministerial consultations on the issue, heard the recommendations and then took the decision, Sharma said.
After the Parliament defeat, Communist leader D Raja accused the UPA government of "brazenly" identifying itself "with multinationals and then claims it is with aam admi". "The sense of the house is against FDI."
The AIADMK gave a "solemn assurance" that the next central government would reverse the FDI decision.
AIADMK leader V Maitreyan said the final vote on the issue would be cast by the people in the next election.
"I give a solemn assurance that after the next Lok Sabha elections, the next government will reverse the decision of the UPA.
"FDI will only be on paper and will not be implemented in states," he added.
The government’s move to provide 51 percent foreign equity in multi-brand retail has long been a contentious issue, stalling almost the entire first two weeks of the Winter Session of Parliament.
(With Agency inputs)
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Delhi: Two killed in road accident in New Ashok Nagar
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- IPL 2015 Final: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings - Preview
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings
- CBSE Results 2015: 10th board exam results to be declared on May 27
- Heatwave leaves 153 dead in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
- IPL 8 Final: We need to be at our best against Mumbai, says Michael Hussey
- Jayalalithaa returns as Tamil Nadu CM: As it happened
- Heatwave kills 223 in AP, Telangana, Chandrababu Naidu announces compensation; Delhi records hottest day