Voting on FDI, FEMA rules must be done separately: CPI(M)

Any move by the government to club the voting in Parliament on FDI in retail and the RBI amendments to FEMA on the same issue would be "highly irregular" and contrary to the law, CPI(M) said today.

Senior party leader Sitaram Yechury also countered the government's argument that voting on the issue in Lok Sabha only would suffice and there may not be a need to take a vote on it in Rajya Sabha.

"The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) clearly lays down that any amendment to its regulations has to be approved by both Houses of Parliament separately. The Act also states that this approval can be done within 30 days after tabling of the amendments and this can spread over two or more sessions," he said. "This is legally mandated."

Though discussion on FDI in multi-brand retail and the RBI's amendments to FEMA to allow foreign investment in the sector can be held simultaneously, voting on the two matters have to be done separately, Yechury told reporters here citing Section 48 of FEMA.

Due to its "obduracy", the government has to have a vote on the issue at least twice -- once when the resolution on the FDI issue comes up for vote after a debate, the second time when the RBI amendments to FEMA are voted.

Any move to club voting on the two matters would "not only be highly irregular but also contrary to the laid down law," Yechury said.

The senior CPI(M) leader also said his party would not only move amendments to the RBI amendments to FEMA, but could also seek the annulment of the notification allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

"There are so many options and we (in Rajya Sabha) have 30 days to file our amendments or annulment motions," he said. The government is yet to table the RBI amendments in the Upper House, but has done so in Lok Sabha.

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