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As it happened: Sushma Swaraj's motion against FDI in multi-brand retail defeated

Wednesday, 5 December 2012 - 12:08pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

As the UPA Wednesday continued talks with opposition parties to elicit their support to foreign investment in retail during the vote in the Lok Sabha, the Samajwadi Party (SP) said it was against the move but would not do anything to "trouble the government".

"We are in talks with opposition parties to persuade them to vote in favour of FDI in retail," minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajeev Shukla said.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:06 IST

Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Wednesday said Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj's statement towards the end of her debate on FDI in multi-brand retail has exposed the Bharatiya Janata Party's floor strategy on this discussion.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:14 IST

Stating that he does not wish to respond to the speech of Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the government is confident about getting the numbers to pass the FDI in retail in the Lok Sabha.

"Why would we agree to a debate on the issue, if we were not confident," said Singh.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:16 IST

Citing the impact of foreign entry in agriculture and pharamceutical sector, Basudeb Acharia of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said, "The foreign investiment has hardly helped the Indian economy. During our visit to suicide hit areas of Yavatmal, our team found that foreign seed companies like Monsanto had monopolised agriculture."

"It has been observed that all the countries where companies like Wal-mart are operating, inflation has only shot up," he added.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:21 IST

"Compared to US where 70% cold storgage facility is available, Wal-mart operates with ease. Contrary to this, India has not such facilities," said Acharia.

"According to our FDI proposal, 30% sourcing will be allowed from across the world. This will hurt the indigenous industries. We are opposing the FDI in retail as it will hit the farmer hard," said Acharia.

Stating that the FDI in retail wil hit at least 25 crore people, Acharia said, "It is these steps which have pushed Europe into inflation. Had the entry of MNCs been linked to reduced prices, why would Europe face inflation?"

Seeking a rethink on the FDI policy, Acharia said, "We know that the policy is not favour of our indigenous retail sector. The move will meet with opposition across the country."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:24 IST

Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav rises to speak.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:28 IST

"When the nuclear deal was brought about, the Left opposed the move. Then came the move to push FDI in retail, which was opposed tooth and nail by Trinamool Congress," said Yadav.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:29 IST

"When Kapil Sibal spoke about the FDI on Tuesday, it became clear that the languages spoken in select areas of the Capital and that spoken by the rest of the millions are different."

When Sibal said the market and the economy are hit, he missed out on the fact that the millions living in the rest of the country are also contributing to the economy. "It may be remembered that India and China are the oldest civilisations, and have survived all along without being linked so closely to the global markets," said Yadav.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:34 IST

"When I go to villages, I can see people selling mangoes, guavas and fruits being sold along with their leaves. Millions like them toil even as they cling to the wheel of the economy. post-Indepence, nearly two lakh farmers have committed suicide," said Yadav.

"Mr Kapil Sibal, you made a difference to the lives of a handful of people numbering may be 85,000 people," he added.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:39 IST

"You talk of people going by their cars. Remember Kapil Sibal, these cars are being run on deisel that gets subsidy from you."

The government is creating a class divide by bringing in FDI. "Had we wanted to bring down the government, we would have supported the TMC move," said Yadav.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:41 IST

Stating that the government is bothered more by markets than the country, Yadav said, "Always remember, India ruled the global markets until 1500 AD, when China and India competed to rule the world economy. In 17th century, India led the global economy at 24%, and after 65 years of Indepence the country's GDP has been brought down 5.5%."

Yadav's statistics is opposed by other members of the Lok Sabha, some raising slogans like "Please don't give us gyan."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:45 IST

According to Yadav, the East India Company powered by the industrial revolution came in to destroy the markets of China and India.

The reason for this decline has come about because we have sidelined the majority. "The colour of our Gods' skin is dark, then why so much love for the white skin?" asks Yadav.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:47 IST

"If the government does not roll back FDI, then we will roll back the government," says Yadav.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:50 IST

Stating that "we are not against the markets", Yadav said, "This Independence has failed to stand beside the farmer. While one part of the country enjoys cars, rich food and travel, the other struggles for one meal a day."

"We may lose the FDI vote, but the struggle will continue. We only request you to rethink the FDI proposal. For, if we push the masses into yet another morass, histroy will not forgive us," said Yadav.

"Not us, but our future generations will never forgive us," he added.

Reconsider FDI decision, JD-U to government

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:56 IST

Meanwhile, BJP leader and the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley alleged that the disruption of the House was "a result of the fact the government lacks the numbers". The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till Thursday after BSP members created ruckus over a memorial dedicated to Dalit leader Babasaheb Ambedkar.

"The disruptions which have been on the past two days. I have a suspicion that the government is not confident of its numbers on the vote on FDI. Hence the government with help from its allies has been successful in disrupting the house for the past two days," alleged Jaitley.

Government deliberately disrupting Rajya Sabha: Jaitley

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:06 IST

"FDI will lead to social unrest," says Biju Janata Dal, adding that, "Small shops will die out."

FDI in retail will cause social unrest: BJD's Bhartruhari Mahtab

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:19 IST

Anant Geete of the Shiv Sena has conveyed the party's strong disapproval for foreign investment in retail.

Voicing strong opposition to FDI, Geete said, "Kapil Sibal may choose to welcome Wal-mart at India Gate, but we promise not to allow them to land at Gateway of India."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:20 IST

Stating that nearly 70% people across the country were opposed to  FDI, Geete said, "We will oppose the move both inside and outside the House."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:30 IST

Nationalist Congress Party's Praful Patel rises to speak.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:31 IST

"The scene in the House is similar to all the earlier days when a contentious debate has taken place. Today, there are malls in every city and town across the country. China-made products are available in every mall. But no one is opposing these malls as leaders of every party are building them," began Praful Patel.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:35 IST

"The liberalisation policy started in the 1990s was carried forward by none other than then finance minister Yashwant Sinha of the BJP (read: which has moved the debate). Also, Indian businesses have grown in this post-liberalised era," said Patel.

In a bid to allay fears of western infusion into the Indian market, Patel said, "It must be remembered that Coca Cola, which was once driven away from the country, has made a successful comeback. But all attempts to buy out and close Thumbs Up proved a failure."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:40 IST

"Though Kapil Sibal on Tuesday declared that the Maharashtra government is behind the FDI move, UI want to make it clear that we as a party will take the call at the state level," said Praful Patel.

Recalling the "propaganda against the Dunkel draft faced in the 1990s", Patel said it only resulted in fear in the minds of the farmers.

"We oppose McDonalds and Kentucky, what I wish to ask is where do these companies source their raw material from? The bread McDonalds uses comes from this coubntry's farmers," added Patel.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:44 IST

Stating that we need not worry about the global markets eating up local businesses, Patel said, "It is to be noted that Indians are making a huge impact in the world market, with the Tatas buying out Jaguar and Landrover."

"We must not be afraid of allowing FDI in retail as Indians are impacting global market. Considering that remittances of Rs3.83 lakh thousand crore (70 billion dollars), we should be proud of the Indians' achievement," said Patel.

FDI in retail will help India: Praful Patel

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:49 IST

Munisamy Thambidurai is speaking on behalf of the AIADMK.

"It may be recalled that when the BJP in their 2004 election manifesto suggested 26% FDI, it lost. In 2002, when the Congress occupied the opposition chairs, it opposed the policy," said Thambidurai.

After burning their hands in the 2G spectrum, the UPA government today wants to divert the issue by moving the FDI bill.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:53 IST

Munisamy Thambidurai is speaking on behalf of the AIADMK.

"It may be recalled that when the BJP in their 2004 election manifesto suggested 26% FDI, it lost. In 2002, when the Congress occupied the opposition chairs, it opposed the policy," said Thambidurai.

After burning their hands in the 2G spectrum, the UPA government today wants to divert the issue by moving the FDI bill.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 13:53 IST

"Entry of foreign investment in say the automobile industry is only leading to temptations for us Indians. Moreover, why cannot the government use its same money to encourage indigenous technologies in the country."

Requesting the MPs to oppose the FDI move, Thambidurai said, Nearly 40 million people will be affected by the FDI moves. Though initially the FDI will bring down the prices, but eventually when the multi-national companies take a stranglehold of the market, inflation is sure to follow."

Demanding the government withdraw the FDI policy, especially when it is under fire for coal and 2G scam, Thambidurai said, "2014 general elections are not far and if we fail to stop the FDI move in the Parliament, the people won't forgive them."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 14:02 IST

"Kapil Sibal is a lawyer and it is his job to project truth as a lie and a lie as truth," says TDP's Nama Nageswara Rao in the Lok Sabha.

Stating that people are being lied to, Nama Nageswara Rao of Telugu Desam Party said, "One Wal-mart will sell goods being sold in 1500 kirana shops. Also, 214 people will be employed in a single Wal-mart outlet, which is automated, as compared to the many employed in retail market."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 14:09 IST

Rashtriya Lok Dal's Jayant Chaudhary points out that it is not clear that if the opposition is to way businesses are orgnaised in the country or to foreign investment.

"Look at how the businesses are aligned. The investment in food storgae facility is only about 1.4%, thus resulting in loss of food produce," said Chaudhary, adding that, "We cannot stop investment but we can definitely say that there is need to provide more employment choices to the rural market by improving the way we run our sugar mills and procurement methods."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 14:21 IST

Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India (CPI) says, "I rise to support the motion against FDI."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 14:23 IST

"We want the nation to know where the party stands. FDI with its huge economic proportions, FDI backed by the American administration will have huge impact on the country," said Dasgupta.

"The government took its own sweet time to come to a debate on FDI. This faltering on the debate proves that the prime minister of a country of 120 crore is ready to sacrifice his government for sake of Wal-mart," pointed out Dasgupta.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 14:29 IST

"The government believes that the economic condition is grim. Investment has gone down, wholesale indices are at a low of less than 1%, kharif production is dwindling and the GDP is licking dust. Today, the government believes that the FDI can rescue this economic state of affairs," said Dasgupta.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 14:31 IST

"The question is if this is the right strategy to allow over-dependence on foreign funds going to rescue our depleted economic," asked Dasgupta, while concede that the government is under pressure of the multinationals to open up.

"Obama is a supporter for retailers in his own country. He is neither lobbying for Wal-mart's entry in India. The multi-nationals are putting pressure on the Indian government. Hence we believe the strategy to bring in FDI is bad strategy," said Dasgupta.

Stating that allocation for agriculture in the US is $300 billion, while in India this investment is only declining, Dasgupta said, "The government is relying on FDI to supplement this lack of investment. Empirical study has shown that price in supermarkets in Latin America and other places allowing FDI is 30% higher than wholesale market."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 14:39 IST

Expect a new battery of officials to come in with FDI, said Dasgupta, adding that, "There cannot be competition between giants (multinationals) and pygmies (our retailers)."

Dasgupta said the move to bring in FDI is an anti-national move.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 14:42 IST

"The government keeps saying that the middlemen will be abolished, but has the gvernment thought about the displaced," asked Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal.

"It may be recalled that stringent quality checks in the US have been responsible for rejection of tonnes of wheat, rice and other produce from India," she added.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 15:00 IST

Sulking Telangana MPs will participate in FDI vote even as they welcomed all-party meeting called by Centre.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 15:16 IST

As a revolt appeared to be brewing among Congress MPs from Telangana ahead of voting on FDI in retail issue, The government has convened on December 28 a meeting of political parties of Andhra Pradesh on separate statehood issue.

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that he has given the assurance to MPs from the Telangana region who met him earlier in the day.

Andhra Pradesh Congress calls for all-party meet on Telangana

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 15:32 IST

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi recalled how the BJP disallowed the FDI in retail back in 2002 and later in stated it such in its election manifesto.

Denying the Congress charge that the party supported FDI in the country, Joshi quoted that BJP election manifesto that criticised FDI.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 15:38 IST

Questioning the intent of the multinationals entering by way of multi-brand retail, Joshi said, "In China the MNCs nearly suffered losses for 18 years, but after that they had destroyed nearly 6,000 units in that country."

Demanding that the Congress look at the farmers and workers before going ahead with FDI, Joshi countered the Congress claim that nearly 33-40% food produce was rotting. He now quotes a January report stating the wastage of every product, including peas, grams, cotton seeds, soyabean...etc.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 15:44 IST

Putting the government in the dock on the wastage of food, Joshi said, "The figure of 30-40% is that of the multinationals like Wal-mart, who observe stricter quality control."

Stating that Chidambaram had invited multinationals for a 200-year lease, Joshi said, "The report on food wastage categorically states that none of the food produce go above 16% and not the 30-40% figure quoted by the government."

Joshi reads out government figures indicating the farmers' share in the food industry, which clearly show its steady rise over the years.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 15:49 IST

Citing the example of Amul, Joshi said, the company gives farmers nearly 70% share of organised price, which is better than in all the countries like US, UK, France etc.

Lambasting the Congress argument that the middleman will be wiped out, Joshi said, the share of middlemen in the organised price in the country was a merely 4%.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 15:53 IST

"Money begets money...and it begets through the political process," said Joshi, while stating the BJP support for democracy for the retailers.

"A country that allows freedom for retailers, farmers is democratic. But entry of Wal-mart will only allow corporate dictatorship of multinationals," added Joshi.

'Sacrifice yourself, not India's interests': Joshi to UPA

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:07 IST

Critical of the BJP's right to criticise the government over FDI, Lalu Yadav pointed out how the party had endorsed foreign investment back in 2002.

Stating how the BJP leaders travel first-class, in foreign cars and use expensive mobile phones, Lalu said, "When Murli Manohar Joshi was minister of education, he was teaching Astrology in universities...."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:15 IST

Stating that farming was being undertaken on only 30-odd% land, Lalu said, "Farmers were giving up farming as there was no one to take their produce."

"Today, when we talk FDI, the stores will be established far away from farming areas, where the farmers can sell their produce," said Lalu.

Blasting the opposition BJP for showing double standard, Lalu questioned why the opposition was quick to use technologies like twitter or even cell phones.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:22 IST

Speaker Meira Kumar has now requested the commerce minister Anand Sharma to intervene, citing shortage of time.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:23 IST

Earlier, Lalu voiced his party's support for FDI, saying that the BJP was sore today because it missed the opportunity to bring in the FDI themselves.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:24 IST

Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda criticised the foreign investment in multi-retail saying, "The multinationals are not coming into the country to serve us, but to extract the maximum benefits from us."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:43 IST

Deepender Singh Hooda of the Indian National Congress has questioned the NDA's stance on foreign investment in multi-brand retail.

Pointing to the many supermarkets and multi-brand investment by Reliance, Tata, Poorti and Bharti, Hooda said, "The NDA is not opposed to multi-brand retail for they were the ones to allow the same in pharmaceutical and coal etc."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:47 IST

Hooda questioned the NDA's opposition to FDI, saying, "In many places, multi-brand retail is existing alongside kirana shops."

"The BJP is not opposed to FDI, nor multi-brand retail. So, it looks that the BJP is only against the Congress," he said.

"Today, the farmers sell their potato for Rs1/2 a kg but must buy back the same potato three months down the line for Rs30," added Hooda.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:49 IST

Stating his support for FDI in multi-brand retail, Hooda said, "Today's farmers need to be given all possibilities to sell off their produce."

"We found out that McDonald uses potatoes grown in Gujarat. McDonalds too has maximum stores in Gujarat. But as soon as this potato comes out of the ground, BJP is quick to term it as American," said Hooda to the opposition's applause.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:54 IST

Stating his support for FDI in multi-brand retail, Hooda said, "Today's farmers need to be given all possibilities to sell off their produce."

"We found out that McDonald uses potatoes grown in Gujarat. McDonalds too has maximum stores in Gujarat. But as soon as this potato comes out of the ground, BJP is quick to term it as American," said Hooda to the opposition's applause.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:54 IST

Hooda now reads out Sukhbir Badal's statement in support of FDI which he retraced later.

About consumers, Hooda pointed out that those claiming that FDI move will create monopolies by first lowering prices before raising them again, Hooda said, "It looks they are not aware of the rule of a Maximum Retail Pricing system."

He voices the federal decision making process in the FDI retail. "The option of implementing FDI will lie on Mamata Banerjee alone, just like that of Haryana will depend solely on the Haryana CM," added Hooda.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 16:59 IST

"It may be remembered how the opposition members protested against the Bhakra Nangal dam, saying Congress will take away the electricity from the dam. Today, the same dam irrigates vast tracts both in Haryana and Punjab," Hooda said.

Wondering if the politics of opposition will take the nation ahead, Hooda said, "The same applies to the computer technology, the Dunkel draft and now the FDI."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:02 IST

Now, the government responds on the FDI debate through commerce minister Anand Sharma.

"It is the hallmark of democracy that a debate is encouraged. I listened with patience all including leader of opposition, Lalu Yadav, Praful Patel....and congratulate all those who spoke."

"This decision has not been taken overnight. Ours is a agricultural country. Nearly 70% people are engaged in agricultural activities," said Sharma.

"Today, we stand number 2 in terms of fruit and vegetable production, and world no 1 in terms of milk production. But we lose out on preserving them, as we lack infrastructure," said Sharma.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:07 IST

Stating that the statistics pointed to how nearly 30% food produce is lost to waste, Sharma said, "The FDI started way back in 2000 during a cabinet debate."

"In 2001, a cabinet note stated that the foreign investment in retail was limited to 2%, while in China it was 10%. Later, it said foreign investment in retail would bring in employment in food packaging industry."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:14 IST

"Also, if businesses from other countries are coming in here, we must remember that Bikanerwala too has opened stores across the world, including three in London itself."


As for the opposition faced by the NDA to its effort to bring about FDI way back in 2002, Sharma reasoned that, "The opposition was effected due to lack of public debate on the issue. You did not take the farmers, consumer forums and other involved parties on board before proposing FDI."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:18 IST

"On Noivember 24, 2011, the foreign investment in multi-brand was agreed upon. I personally wrote to the heads of all political parties intimating them about the decision," said Sharma.

"After December 4, the government again began talking to farmer associations of whom 17 organisations gave a written promise to support the FDI move. Similarly, heads of food processing industry were called in. They all pledged their support for FDI," said Sharma.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:24 IST

"While 11 states agreed to the move, 7 opposed it and 3 said they would think about it before saying. I myself went to West Bengal to talk to Mamata Banerjee, but she refused to allow FDI in retail. I respect her for it," said Sharma, while adding that no elected government can be robbed of its right to allow or disallow FDI in retail.

In replying to leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj's question if poltiical parties are aware of the FDI details, Sharma said, "The opinion of all political organisations have been duly received. I met Parkash Singh Badal, Mamata Banerjee to take their view on FDI."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:30 IST

"While 11 states agreed to the move, 7 opposed it and 3 said they would think about it before saying. I myself went to West Bengal to talk to Mamata Banerjee, but she refused to allow FDI in retail. I respect her for it," said Sharma, while adding that no elected government can be robbed of its right to allow or disallow FDI in retail.

In replying to leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj's question if poltiical parties are aware of the FDI details, Sharma said, "The opinion of all political organisations have been duly received. I met Parkash Singh Badal, Mamata Banerjee to take their view on FDI."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:30 IST

Claiming to be in possession of Sukhbir Singh Badal's letter stating his support, Sharma said, "I also pointed out that to the Punjab chief minsiter."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:32 IST

Claiming to be in possession of Sukhbir Singh Badal's letter stating his support, Sharma said, "I also pointed out that to the Punjab chief minsiter."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:32 IST

About the change in the draft proposed in 2011 and now, Sharma said, "The first difference is the states' freedom."

When we brought up the proposal again, the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister himself came up to me and asked if his state would be bereft of the benefits of FDI.

"We can achieve consensus but cannot wait till unanimity," said Sharma, adding that "To regulate prices we have the MRP Act. Ours is an Indian policy. We won't allow investment of less than $100million, 50% invested in villages and a minimum of 20% local outsourcing."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:37 IST

"Not only will the farmers' produce be sold across the country, but it will also be exported to get us foreign exchange," said commerce minister Anand Sharma, pointing out the many aspects the government considered before amending the FDI proposal from November 2011.

"We need not see how America is running its organised retail business. What we have to realise is that only 4% business of the Indian food industry is organised retail," said Sharma.

"From 2004 to 2009, retail sector grew 7% in organised and 15% in unorganised. I too grew up in a small town, and would carry back vegetables back from school and things have not changed since," said Sharma, elaborating that, "Multi-brand retail is not for small-time users. A multi-brand retailer will not give you half packet of bread or two eggs, things we depend on the local kirana shops for."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:47 IST

Appealing the leader of opposition to take back the motion opposing the entry of foreign investment in multi-brand retail, Sharma said, "I request the honourable opposition leader Sushma Swaraj to take back the motion. If it does not do so, I request the house to reject the motion."

Samajwadi Party members raise slogans against the FDI in retail. Swaraj address the house even as sloganeering pitch goes up.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:53 IST

While thanking the Speaker on being allowed to speak, Swaraj said, "The debate on FDI which has been going on since Tuesday has been detailed and meaningful. I am happy to say that 14 of the 18 political parties in the house have gone against FDI, while four parties have supported the government move."

"Also, I have observed that those opposing the government move on FDI did so with conviction. We could see the hesitation of Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit during her FDI speech," pointed out Swaraj.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 17:59 IST

Pointing to the contradiction within the Congress party Swaraj reads out Dikshit's speech which says, "Dikshit herself said, she would have to go to NCR region to access a multi-brand retail outlet."

Claiming that Dikshit's hestitation shows in her speech, Swaraj read out: "If Wal-mart comes to Chandani Chowk, it won't find place, even if it does it will so expensive that its business model will be turned upside down."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:03 IST

Taking a jibe at Indian National Congress leader Deepender Singh Hooda, Swaraj said, "So excited he was at eliciting support to the Congress's FDI proposal, he is ready to grow a two-foot potato. I hope he understands the difference between a potato and bottle gourd."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:06 IST

"There were two aspects to Pranab's speech. He talked about consensus, but where is the consensus if 14 parties have opposed the FDI move.?" asked Swaraj.

Sharad Yadav countered Anand Sharma's efforts to build consensus, saying, "Though letters were sent to all political party heads, no one was called for any meeting in a bid to build consensus."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:11 IST

"Going by the estimates of people speaking against FDI, nearly 286 members appear to be against the FDI move. We want the coming generations to see the difference between what the Congress talks and what it acts," said Swaraj.

Exhorting the Samajwadi Party to vote against FDI, she said, "Had Mulayam Singh voted on FDI, the move would have been beaten."

It is for the record that 14 parties are against the FDI move, Swaraj attacked Samajwadi Party's decision to not vote on FDI saying, "Let it be remembered that there are more Muslims than Hindus will be hit by the FDI move."

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:17 IST

Sugato Roy of the Trinamool Congress demands an amendment in the FDI proposal.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:28 IST

Pointing out to loophole in the Kapil Sibal's statement that FDI proposal can be refused by individual states, Roy asked, "What if a state government allows FDI and Wal-mart erects an outlet, what if the next government decides to oppose the policy? Will the outlet be demolished?"

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:31 IST

Pointing to Deepender Singh Hooda, Roy said, "In an article he had written in the Indian Express a few years ago, he has proposed selling off state firms like the Indian Airlines, railways. He wants to sell off the country's Navratnas. Shame on you."

Independent MP from Ladakh Hassan Khan speaks in support of the amendment in the notification dated October 21, 2011, as suggested by Sugato Roy.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:36 IST

Speaker takes voice vote. The opposition has insisted on a formal vote and Speaker has asked the marshals to close the doors.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:39 IST

Speaker asks Parliament members to take the rules and invites the secretary general to explain the automatic vote machine system.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:42 IST

Members vote on Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj's motion which opposes the 51% foreign investment in multi-brand retail.

Yes: 218

Noes: 253

Total: 471

Opposition motion against FDI in multi-brand retail defeated in Lok Sabha.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:46 IST

Speaker Meira Kumar announces moving the motion for modification of Sugata Roy's proposed FEMA amendment before the house.

"The question is should Roy's proposal be adopted?" asks the Kumar.

Ayes: 224

Noes: 254

Total: 478

Roy's proposal to amend the FEMA is also defeated by the house.

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 18:52 IST



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