The imbroglio over allowing FDI in multi-brand retail seems set to spill over to the budget session of Parliament.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar ruled on Tuesday that the MPs can move motions seeking modifications to an RBI notification amending the Foreign Exchange Management Regulations, 2000, for 30 days from the tabling of the notification in each House.
Parliamentary nod of the amended regulations is necessary for reform to be implemented.
However, Kumar allowed the government's wish by permitting clubbing of the retail FDI debate under Rule 184 (entailing voting) with motions by TMC’s Saugata Roy and independent MP Hassan Khan for modifications in the RBI notification.
“The statutory period during which a member can move amendment or modifications is intact. The 30-day period you all were concerned about, remains intact,” Kumar ruled.
This was in response to senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and CPI (M) MP Basudeb Acharia’s contention that members had a statutory right under section 48 of FEMA to be allowed a period of 30 days from the tabling of the notification, and clubbing of the two votes could mean denial of this right.
In her ruling, Kumar cited Rule 235 that says that the Speaker can, in consultation with the Leader of the House, fix a day for consideration of an amendment to a regulation moved by a member.
BJP seem unhappy with clubbing despite the 30-day statutory period being upheld. CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury said, “The government wanted to club two votes. Now it will face three, spilled over to budget session.”