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FDI row: BJP accuses Govt. of deliberately stalling parliamentary proceedings

November 30, 2011 - New Delhi

Amid the standoff in both the Houses over the decision to approve Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader S. S. Ahluwalia accusing the government of deliberately stalling the proceedings on Wednesday said the opposition is willing to extend its full cooperation and ensure that the Parliament functions smoothly.

Ahluwalia said the opposition is ready to discuss issues of price rise and black money, but the government is not letting the opposition take up such serious matters.

"The opposition is interested to run the House and we have given these notices as per the rules and procedure of Lok Sabha and rules and procedure of Rajya Sabha. We have not invested or formulated any new rule from space, these are the rules, already defined and written in our rulebook, and we have demanded discussion as per the rulebook," Ahluwalia told mediapersons after the Parliamentary Party meet here.

"Now, when they (Central Government) are not allowing, that means they are stopping and blocking the proceeding of the Parliament," he added.

Ahluwalia further said the BJP has submitted the resolution for the adjournment motion in this regard and will continue to do so till the government rollbacks its decision on the proposed FDI Bill.

"Yesterday, they (Central Government) called a meeting, there it was decided, after hearing, Pranab Mukherjee (Finance Minister) said that he will come back to us, but already more than 24 hours passed, but there is no communication from the government side," said Ahluwalia.

"Yesterday also, we said the resolution submitted for the adjournment motion is non-negotiable. Again we are sending, either you withdraw the cabinet decision of FDI in retail sector or face the Parliament with adjournment motion with the same resolution," he added.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had earlier on Tuesday said that he would speak to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and thereafter the government will decide on how to resolve the impasse in Parliament over the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.

Mukherjee had said that the opposition leaders have suggested a rollback of the decision and a discussion in Parliament on the issue under an adjournment motion.

"I informed them (Opposition leaders) that I will talk to the leadership-Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi. And thereafter, whatever decision government will take, you will come to know," he said.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, had on Tuesday defended the government's decision to approve 51 percent FDI in multi-brand retail, and said that the policy is good for the economy and would bring jobs and technology to farmers.

Addressing a Youth Congress meet here, Dr. Singh said: "We didn't take the decision hastily. We have thought a lot and firmly believe that this decision will benefit us a lot."

"We have really considered it and believe it is for our best. It will get us modern technology, not let crops get damaged, get farmers good prices and bridge gaps," he added.

Last Thursday, the Cabinet approved 51 percent FDI in multi- brand retail, As per this move, many global retailers like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco can open outlets in India.

The Cabinet also decided to remove the 51 per cent cap on FDI in single brand format under which companies in food, lifestyle and sports business run stores. Owners of brands like Adidas, Gucci, Hermes, LVMH and Costa Coffee can have full ownership of business in India.


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