BJP fine-tunes strategy on FDI in retail
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held its parliamentary meeting here on Tuesday to chalk out its strategy to corner the Congress-led UPA Government in both houses of Parliament during the debate and voting on the issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad after the meeting said Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley would begin the debate on FDI in retail in the lower house and the upper house respectively.
"In the BJP's parliamentary meeting, the party has fined tuned the strategy as far as the opposition to FDI in retail is concerned. The debate in the Lok Sabha shall be started by the Leader of Opposition, Sushma Swaraj, and our senior leader Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi would also intervene tomorrow," said Prasad.
"In the Rajya Sabha, the debate will be started by the Leader of Opposition, Arun Jaitley, and our senior leader Venkaiah Naidu will also intervene," he added.
The BJP parliamentary meeting also came to a conclusion on the regulation notification under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
"Today in the parliamentary party meeting, we have taken the view that as far as regulation notification under FEMA is concerned, in terms of Section 48 of the FEMA, that notification has to be placed on the floor of the house for 30 days to enable the members to see it, consider and file amendments," said Prasad.
"It cannot be rushed through along with the main debate of FDI and we shall be approaching the chair," he added.
Senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar were present in today's parliamentary meeting.
The BJP had earlier on Monday countered the government claim that passing the amendments to the FEMA in one house would suffice to make them effective legally, and said it was necessary that these be passed by both houses.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had earlier said the government would get the amendments to the FEMA, required to facilitate FDI in multi-brand retail, passed in both houses, if needed.
The FEMA was passed in the Winter Session of Parliament in 1999 to replace the then Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) after it became incompatible with liberalization policies of the government undertaken since 1991. This act seeks to make offenses related to foreign exchange civil offenses. It extends to the whole of India.
The BJP, which has so far vehemently opposed the FDI in retail, has also urged the other political outfits, including the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, to back the main opposition party on the issue.
The debate will begin in the Lok Sabha at 2 p.m. today. The motion will be put to vote in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.
The Rajya Sabha will begin debating on the FDI issue on Thursday and will vote on Friday.