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Mayawati with govt on retail FDI vote

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SummaryPrime Minister Manmohan Singhís government on Thursday seemed closer to securing parliamentary assent for its decision to allow foreign supermarkets to set up shop in the country, ahead of a crucial vote in the Upper House on Friday.

on the 'black law' and asked the government to think over the issue.

Participating in the debate, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said opening up the retail sector for foreign control without reforms in the manufacturing sector was not the right thing to do. ďWe (will) cease to be a manufacturing nation. We will be consumers and our children will be sales boys and sales girls," said Jaitley.

The government had earlier looked set to lose the vote before the unexpected announcement from Mayawati to vote in favour of the retail reform. Mayawati said her decision was partly based on the the fact that individual states have the liberty to decide whether they want to allow foreign retailers on their soil.

A home run for the government on retail reforms would enable Manmohan Singh's government to focus on getting the other reform Bills such as raising the foreign investment limit in pension and insurance sectors passed. The government is also trying to put in place a fast-track clearance window for infrastructure projects that would strike trade-offs between development goals and environment concerns.

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