BJP refuses to budge on FDI in retail

Naidu accuses Centre of betraying people

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday remained adamant on its demand for a debate, followed by voting, in Parliament on foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

An all-party meeting on the issue is scheduled for Monday. The party is blaming the Congress and its United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies—Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party—for the present stalemate in Parliament. The DMK on Sunday clearly said no to opening up of the retail sector.

The BJP does not want to allow the government to slip away from its embarrassment as other opposition parties like the Left and AIADMK, TMC and BJP have also openly come out against the UPA.

"They had given a solemn assurance to Parliament on December 7, 2011, that they are suspending the decision to allow FDI in retail till a consensus is reached," former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu said while addressing a gathering in Gujarat on Sunday.

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram met BJP’s Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitely, leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively, on Friday to solve the House impasse as some of his ministry’s important bills have to be cleared by Parliament.

The parliamentary committee on finance, headed by Yashwant Sinha, has clearly stated that 26 per cent FDI in insurance sector is okay. But the UPA wants to increase the foreign investment subject to the BJP’s approval. it is learnt that Chidambaram had called for more FDI in insurance.

Amendments to Banking Regulation Act and IRDA Act have to be cleared by both Houses. But, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitely told Chidambaram that the BJP would not budge on its stand the FDI in retail.

The first two days of Parliament have already been disrupted with the opposition insisting on a debate under Rule 184, which entails voting. The government, however, hopes to get wriggle out of the situation during Monday’s party-meeting called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath.

‘FDI is against national interest’

Former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu, who is campaigning for the party for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, said at Vadodara that his party is convinced that FDI in retail sector is not in the interests of the country and will affect the employment of crores of people, reports DHNS from Ahmedabad.

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