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FEMA amendments to allow FDI in multi-brand retail

New Delhi, Nov 30, 2012, (PTI) : 16:25 IST
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Government today tabled in Lok Sabha amendments in the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.

Five amendments, notified by the Reserve Bank of India between May and October this year, were tabled in the House by Minister of State for Finance Namo Narayan Meena during Zero Hour.

The notifications were tabled as per the Section 48 of the 1999 Act which requires their acceptance by both Houses of Parliament.

Opposition parties, particularly CPI(M), has been demanding a voting on the amendments to FEMA allowing foreign investment in multi-brand retail.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury made it clear that his party would move statutory resolutions in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha to disapprove these amendments.

He said the CPI(M) would use "all options" available in the rules of business in Parliament to thwart government's attempts to implement FDI in retail.

Maintaining that the RBI amendments in FEMA to allow FDI in multi-brand retail would have to be voted within a time- frame as laid down in the Foreign Exchange Management (FEMA) Act itself, he said "due to its obduracy, the government has agreed to have a vote on the issue twice" -- once when the FDI issue comes up for vote after a debate and the second time after the RBI amendments are tabled in Parliament to amend FEMA to allow FDI in retail.

But by tabling the amendments in Lok Sabha today, the government may go in for voting on the issue only once when the two Houses take up discussion on the FDI in retail issue under rules entailing voting.

Yechury has been saying that the decision to permit FDI in retail trade was not a mere executive decision and could only be taken by the Parliament and "the authority to do so is beyond the mandate of the executive as decreed by our Constitution."

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