SC asks: Has FDI led to investments or is it a gimmick?
Vahanvati tried to reason that this was not the issue under consideration of the court, and that this was a policy decision taken after necessary amendments in the RBI rules and a vote in Parliament.
“We are not policy makers but it is also not correct that policy has to be sacrosanct every time. It can be examined within the Constitutional parameters. We don’t substitute government policy but some regulatory norms have to be there. The apprehension is that these (big) companies can artificially reduce the price which the small traders cannot afford to do,” the court said. “These apprehensions have to be cleared.”
The court asked the Attorney General to file an affidavit within three weeks addressing issues relating to farmers’ interests. While posting the matter after five weeks, it also asked PIL petitioner advocate M L Sharma to respond to the Centre’s affidavit.
The PIL had challenged a government circular issued on September 20, allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, contending it had no legal sanctity since the RBI had not brought about the required amendments in the 2000 regulation as per the Foreign Exchange Management Act.