In a sign that could mean Telangana MPs could abstain from voting, 8 MPs boycott the meeting of urban development Kamal Nath on the FDI issue.
Ahead of the vote on FDI in multi-brand retail in Parliament, minister of urban development Kamal Nath expresses confidence on Tuesday that the government would see through in both houses.
We have the numbers, Nath says.
Nath accuses the BJP of indulging in politics over the issue.
Trinamool to vote against government
Kalyan Banerjee from the Trinamool Congress tells CNN IBN that the party will vote against the government.
Rajya Sabha is adjourned till noon after Samajwadi Party uproar over the arrest of an "innocent Muslim youth" on terror charges.
The following is the Parliament Schedule for December 4, 2012:
1. Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012
2. Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2012
3. National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010
4. Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and
Officials of Public International Organisation Bill,
5. Discussion on FDI in retail
1. Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2012
2. Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012
3. North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Amendment Bill, 2012
4. Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2011
5. National Highways Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2012
Govt confident motion against FDI will be defeated
Expressing confidence that the motion against FDI will be defeated in Parliament, the government hoped that parties will see through the "politics" of BJP and vote accordingly.
"I am confident that the motion moved by BJP in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will be rejected...I am urging all parties not to subscribe to the politics of BJP," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told said.
Uproar in Parliament over alleged irregularities in gas deal by Gujarat govt; Lok Sabha is adjourned till 12.30pm.
Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm
MPs from Telangana boycott party meeting on FDI
Eight party MPs from Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh boycotted a meeting called by Congress floor leaders in Parliament to seek their assurances on participation in the debate.
The MPs kept the question of skipping the vote open saying a decision on this would be taken only tomorrow.
Yashwant Sinha opens the debate
BJP senior leader Yashwant Sinha opened the debate.
FEMA and FDI debate can't be clubbed
Yashwant Sinha demanded that amendments to FEMA be placed on the floor of the house for 30 days.
He objected to dealing with the FDI-related FEMA notification along with the debate on FDI under Rule 184.
Not running away from vote: BJP
Demanding that the debate on FEMA be delayed, the BJP said that it was not evading vote and indeed they were the ones who asked for it.
Amid the uproar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath shouted, “Madam! They wanted a vote! They have it! They should be happy!”
Speaker decides in favour of combined discussion
Speaker Meira Kumar said she has allowed combining of debate and voting on FDI in retail and FEMA amendment.
We insisted a discussion under Rule 184 because in 2011, we had the same debate when the government had presented the idea of 51% FDI in retail.
At that point of time, all the members of the parliament had opposed the move.
'Govt has gone back on its promise'
Swaraj alleged that Pranab Mukherjee had earlier assured the parties that there would be a discussion and that the decision on FDI implementation would be suspended till a consensus had been reached. "The government has gone back on its promise on consensus on FDI in retail," she said.
Jeopardise retail market
Sushma Swaraj said the influx of global players will jeopardise business of local retailers. A local shopkeeper would lose its competitive strength with the entering of big sharks in the retail business.
"Hum mahilayen shopping to karne jati hain," she said, adding that multiple shops in a market ensure that there is competitive pricing.
Countries across the world are suffering
Leader of Opposition said the claim -- that farmers would be benefited by the entry of big retail players -- are false. The big retail houses though eliminate the middlemen, they buy agri products on cheap rates from poor farmers. The position of farmer would remain the same; the only one to benefit would be the corporates.
In all countries across the world where such a system exists, retailers are manipulating the farmers. The fact is that the farmers' wellbeing is never looked into. The retailers only look at their profits.
Eradication of middleman system
"One of the main points raised is that FDI in retail middleman will be eradicated," said Swaraj. She claimed, "Today, there is a field where manufacturers are directly in connection with the farmers and that is production of sugar."
"In a lot of cases manufacturers refuse to buy sugarcanes...If in the field where there is direct connection between manufacturers and farmers are suffering, then how would the FDI help?"
The biggest presence of middleman is in the field of grain products. You can't deny that there is a relationship between the middlemen and the farmers.
'FDI is a threat to rural economy'
Swaraj: Foreign players would not be able to understand the rural economy...The entry of big sharks would destroy the rural economy of the country. The end user would have to pay the high price of predatory pricing of these big corporates. Wal-mart and its ilk cannot understand the farming issues of India. Eradication of middleman may be the object, but the farmer would be the one to bear the brunt of FDI in retail.
Uproar in the House has forced Sushma Swaraj to stop speaking.
False promises of employment
Swaraj: The government says one crore jobs will be generated through multi-brand retails and that 40 lakh employees will be hired directly. I do not know how this was generated, but I have some numbers.
There are 9,826 Walmart stores across the wold, which employ 21 lakh people. So if 40 lakh employees have to be hired by Walmart, then they 18,600 stores will have to be opened.
Only if you open a store at every crossroad, will 40 lakh jobs be generated.
Manufacturing sector will be worst hit by FDI. Unemployment rates will shoot up in this sector.
The manufacturing of products will be outsourced to China and thus that country would be in advantage.
SMEs clause to remain ineffective
Swaraj said that the FDI clause that the corporates outsource 30% of their products from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) would remain ineffective as all around these kind of clauses have failed to work.
The SMEs would be hit as their produce would remain idle due to direct buying from the manufacturers; also they would be forced to sell cheap due to overstocking and demand-supply imbalance.
Swaraj said that almost 12,000 crore families would be affected by the influx of FDI retailers.
Sushma Swaraj, the excellent orator
Admiring Swaraj, Kiran Bedi tweeted:
Amazing clarity with which Sushma Swaraj is speaking+clarifying negative consequences of FDi. Shall wait to hear its counter similarly!
Learn from others' mistakes
Swaraj: It is said that "A fool learns from his experience, an intelligent person learns from that of others." I have kept examples of other countries in front of you. We must learn from their experiences.
Obama's outsourcing fears
Leader of Opposition said that the President of biggest economy, United States of America, promotes small businesses. Swaraj said, Barack Obama promotes small businesses via tweets and updates. She cites Obama's speech wherein he said that small businesses were the growth engines of the economy.
Swaraj said that when a country like US is promoting small businesses and decrying big corporate retailers, why are we — the agriculture economy — eulogising the direct retail business?
She also gave examples of Obama urging people to go and buy from small sellers at least once a week. The president took his daughters Malia and Sasha to a small book store to promote small businesses.
A CBS news report says 89 million consumers plan to shop small in an effort to promote independent retailers on main street.
Why are we being trapped in Wal-mart net?
Swaraj said that during global recession, all eyes are on India. The big corporate houses, suffering at the hands of slowdown in European markets, are ready to pounce on India retail world. We should understand the graft charges in Wal-mart Bharti case. Why is the company so secretive over the corruption charges and suspension of its employees? She asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to fight for his people, the people of India.
We don't need dal-chawal sellers from abroad
Swaraj: We invite FDI in social sector including infrastructure, power, energy, etc. But we don't need a person selling "dal-chawal." We already have an established retail market in India.
We invite the investors to build our roads, highways, buildings, tunnels, etc, but not to sell grains and vegetables.
We are not against FDI, but we don't need it in the field of multi-brand retail.
We will be happy if we convince the government to reverse its decision on the 51% FDI in retail. But if the government does not agree, I will request other members of the parliament to support our motion and force the government to take this decision back.
'Don't implement FDI in your state if you don't want to'
FDI in retail will only be implemented in towns with population of over 10 lakhs; in this case only 53 cities would be eligible for FDI. The opposition is exaggerating the negatives of the multi-brand retail.
In states where the chief ministers want to implement FDI in retail, why are you trying to oppose their decision? Kapil Sibal questioned the opposition.
Pointing towards Swaraj, Sibal said, "You want to sink, but you want the other states to sink as well."
"What is your constitutional right to stop FDI if the chief ministers of the states are ready to implement it?" asked Sibal, adding that there was no need of this (FDI) debate. "It was a consequence of political agenda."
FDI riders for retailers
Spelling out the riders for the investors, Kapil Sibal said, every retailer will have to invest at least $100 million in the economy to enter the Indian market. Out of this, it will have to spend $50 million in back-end infrastructure. Thirdly, the remaining 50% of this $100 million would have to be invested within three years of entering India. The retailer would have to outsource 30% of its raw produce from SMEs.
Sibal questions BJP's change in stand
In 2004, BJP, in its vision document, supported FDI in retail.
Quoting Jaswant Singh, Sibal said, "Don't underestimate the Indian sharbat, it will survive drinks like Pepsi and Coca Cola."
Now that you are not in power, you have changed your stand.
Are you with the farmer or middleman?
Sibal: Purpose of the FDI policy is that a farmer gets higher price when his product reaches market. But there are eight commission agents between him and the market.
Farmers get only 15-17% for his produce. FDI will ensure a higher price for his produce. The Opposition must decide whether they are with the farmers or with the middlemen.
We look beyond you
Kapil Sibal ended his debate saying that "when we sit here, we look beyond you, to the people outside Parliament who deserve a better life. Our policies are for a better India."
FDI against the people of India: Mulayam Singh
Here are some points that the SP supremo made:
- When Pepsi and Coca Cola entered the Indian markets, we were told that farmers would benefit extensively from it. However, no farmer has gained anything from the companies.
- 5 crore retail businessmen exist in India. They will not be able to sustain their businesses if FDI comes to India.
- FDI in retail will increase poverty in India
- My estimate is that the retailers will be good to the farmers in the beginning, but once these 5 crore businessmen go, they will act as per their will.
- 20-25 crore people in India will be unemployed due to FDI.
- Gandhi professed "swadeshi" products. If Gandhi and Lohia were alive, nobody would have the guts to bring FDI in India
BSP supports Swaraj
Dara Singh Chouhan said, "The government is saying that people will get employment from FDI, they will earn more. However, I think this is a conspiracy to take away the little money that the poor in India have."
UPA constituent DMK opposes FDI
DMK opposes FDI, but says it will not vote against the government. TKS Elangovan said:
- We do not want to let you down
- We do not want to join the Opposition
- We do not want to join BJP