FDI in Retail: Wholesale victory
Given all the talk of ‘communal forces’ during the debate on retail FDI, both inside as well as outside Parliament, it always seemed pretty much a done deal. That, when push came to shove, both the SP and the BSP and perhaps even others would abstain from the vote, to find some way to let the government push the necessary legislation through. And, in any case, as former Lok Sabha secretary general PDT Acharya points out, if the Lok Sabha votes in favour of retail FDI, it doesn’t really matter what the Rajya Sabha does—the details are confusing, those interested can watch the December 4 episode of Karan Thapar’s ‘Last Word’ (http://goo.gl/Z8nQH).
But if it was pretty much a done deal—CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury cited similar instances, on the same show, where the government usually managed to ram its way through—why did the BJP and others want the vote? In all likelihood to expose the SP and the BSP as opportunistic dealmakers, going along with them in the anti-FDI campaign and yet allowing the government to push retail FDI through. While it’s not certain how that will play out, if at all, during the elections, the SP/BSP pragmatism augurs well for economic reforms. It’s good news for the government that is desperately trying to drum up the global mood as well as for foreign investors who’re looking for signs to show India
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