Govt wins FDI vote in Rajya Sabha

PTI | DECEMBER 07, 2012, 12:55 PM IST

The government today won the approval of Parliament to itscontroversial decision of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail with a motionagainst it being defeated convincingly in Rajya Sabha, as BSP voted in favourof UPA.

123 members voted against the motion while 109 voted infavour after a two-day animated debate during which the Opposition attacked theproposal to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, while the governmentstrongly justified it saying it was in the best interest of the country.

Samajwadi Party, which has nine members in the House, stageda walkout expressing dissatisfaction over Commerce Minister Anand Sharma'sreply.

The defeat of the motion moved by AIADMK member V Maitreyanin the Rajya Sabha came two days after the Lok Sabha voted out a similarmotion, paving the way for entry of global supermarkets like Walmart into thecountry.

The government's victory in Rajya Sabha, where UPA lacks amajority of its own, came with the help of 15-member BSP, which had walked outof the Lok Sabha during voting on the issue. UPA has 94 members in the UpperHouse which has an effective strength of 244.

Sachin Tendulkar, nominated member who is playing test matchin Kolkata, Murli Deora (Cong), who is unwell, and rebel BJD leader Pyari MohanMahapatra were absent.

Replying to the debate, Maitreyan insisted that majority ofthe House was not in favour of FDI in multi-brand retail.

He said voting did not take place on "merits of theissue, but other considerations...It is a victory of the minority."

Earlier, Sharma maintained that the move was essential forthe country's growth and rejected the opposition contention that it would hurtthe small retailers and farmers and harm the manufacturing sector. 

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