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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Retail FDI faces fresh hurdle in Rajya Sabha

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 15, 2013
First Published: 00:17 IST(15/2/2013) | Last Updated: 02:04 IST(15/2/2013)

The government’s decision to allow FDI in the multi-brand retail sector is set to face a fresh vote in the Rajya Sabha during the budget session, with chairman Hamid Ansari admitting a motion moved by Left parties to seek rejection of new rules framed to implement the decision.

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The combined motion moved by CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and CPI member MP Achuthan seeks rejection of the amendments made by the government in the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) rules to allow 51% FDI in the multi-brand retail sector.

The government will have to once again bank on friendly parties — the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party — to ensure the defeat of the opposition motion, like it did on this issue during the winter session of Parliament.    

The government had got the endorsement of its decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail sector from both Houses of Parliament in the winter session by defeating the motions moved by Opposition parties, but following a direction from the Supreme Court, it needs to get the changes made in FEMA rules ratified by Parliament too.

FEMA provisions state that “every rule and regulation made under this law shall be laid as soon as possible before each House of parliament.”

The government stand has been that it has tabled the new rules in Parliament and the onus for seeking any further discussion or voting is now on the Opposition.

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