Economy Dec 2, 2012
New Delhi:The FEMA notification dealing withFDI in retail has to be passed by only one House ofParliament, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath hasclaimed belying the Opposition stand that the decision cannotbe implemented if it falls in Rajya Sabha, where UPA lacksmajority.
"If one House has passed it, it passes. It does not needboth Houses to pass it. That's what is prescribed in therules," he told Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury had said that as per rules,FEMA notification on allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi-brandretail has to be laid and passed in both Houses of Parliament.
Failure to do so will be challenged in court, he had said lastweek.Nath did not agree with this contention of theOpposition. "Anything can go to court. If it goes we will dealwith it," he said.
The minister insisted that the rules are separate for LokSabha and Rajya Sabha. Nath, however, accepted that FEMA notification - whichcan be passed in the budget session as well as the governmenthas 30 working days of Parliament to get the nod - may draginto the next session which is three months away.
He said he has got no assurance from SP and BSP on theFDI issue which will be debated and voted upon in this week inboth Houses but expressed confidence they will support UPA.
"I have good reason to believe that they (SP and BSP)will vote with the government because they are a responsibleparty and that they will understand the politics of it... Theyare not going to vote for the politics of the BJP," Nath said.
"At this moment I have no assurance from any politicalparty. All I know is I believe that I will be able to prevailupon political parties to make them understand what is behindthis vote," Nath said.
The minister stated that he is in talks with everybody."We are in talks with them (political parties)... We areconfident that we will be able to carry it through in the LokSabha and the Rajya Sabha... I am confident of my numbers," hesaid.
He denied that the government is trying to manipulate themembers from abstaining or coming to vote on FDI."Just as I am not arranging for abstention of SachinTendulkar, I am not arranging for abstention from any party.I am not giving a thought to whether we will win here or losethere. I am confident of winning in the Rajya Sabha," he said.
Nath maintained that BJP does not control Parliamentanymore and the whole FDI issue has become "messy" due to theOpposition. "I don't think anybody has a veto over us. Letsnot be under this delusion," he said.
The minister is also confident of getting the otherpending Bills of the Finance Ministry, including the Insuranceand Pensions bills, passed in this session.
"I have talked to the main opposition. The Insurance andPensions Bill are acceptable to them with some amendments.The Standing Committee on Finance has given a report. TheFinance Minister is examining this report. He is talkingdirectly to the opposition on it," Nath said.
"As soon as they have convergence we will have the Bill.I am confident the Finance Minister will find convergence onthis," he added.
The minister said government is "continuously andextensively" engaging with all political parties."Let us move forward. There are many things which happenmilestone by milestone," he said.
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