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FDI in retail: UPA wins Rajya Sabha vote


New Delhi : Clearing the final hurdle for implementation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, the upper house of the Parliament Rajya Sabha on Friday voted against the motion to withdraw it. While 123 MPs opposed the motion to withdraw FDI, 109 were in favour.

With the Samajhwadi Party staging a walk-out, UPA II required less number of votes for defeating BJP's motion. Commenting on his party's move to abstain from voting Mulayam Singh Yadav said, "Farmers are in a fix when their produce is not sold. So we have to see this issue carefully."

Earlier on Friday Anand Sharma attacked the perception of FDI in multi-brand retail reducing people of the country to 'sales boys & girls'. Sharma said that this sends a wrong message to those who earn a living from selling goods.

"Fear is being created that small kirana stores will be badly hit by this policy," he stormed at Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley. He even went on to question the vegetable wastage figure cited by Jaitley in the Parliament.

"India is the only country that compulsorily introduced minimum 30% sourcing," said Sharma, while defending the case for allowing FDI. "If there is a policy it will be implemented," he added.

Opposition NDA and estranged UPA ally Trinamool Congress criticised the decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, saying government has surrendered to crony capitalism and feared that the policy will spell doom for farmers and small traders.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari dispensed with Question Hour "as a rarest of rare cases" to resume discussion on the the motion moved by V Maitreyan (AIADMK) rejecting the government's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.

Earlier, leaders of political parties and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath requested for doing away with the Question Hour to resume discussion on the issue.

Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) said some top economists in the government were associated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, the two multi-lateral agencies propagating the cause of foreign investment.

"IMF, World Bank, WTO, Asian Development Bank (ADB) run economic policy of the world," Tiwari said adding the nation's future was being impacted by their policies.
 
 
     
 
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