Wal-Mart has an easy day
In the Lok Sabha, 218 among the 471 members who participated voted in favour of the opposition motion asking for immediate withdrawal of the FDI decision, while 253 voted against it. The total strength of the House is 545. The House also rejected the motion seeking an amendment to the rules notified by the Reserve Bank of India under Fema. While 254 voted in favour of the government, 224 voted against. Members of the SP and BSP, with respective strengths of 22 and 21, did not participate in the voting as they walked out alleging that interests of farmers and small retailers had been ignored.
Earlier, replying to the debate, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said all relevant factors were taken into account before allowing foreign retailers to open stores in India, to ensure investors were protected irrespective of who comes to power. “FDI is made in accordance with the investment regime in force at a point in time, which can normally not be amended with retrospective effect,” he said.
Sharma clarified that the foreign investor would not be vulnerable to political power shifts in states after they established their presence in India’s retail sector under this policy.
The minister reiterated this was only an “enabling policy” and state governments were free to take their own decisions regarding its implementation. “Establishment of retail sales outlets
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