Hitting out at the opposition for its plan to "drag" the decision on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail to Parliament, the government today said the "shrill discourse" and "sensationalism" over the last few years had caused enormous damage to India's image and hoped the enthusiasm of foreign investors would be bolstered by the recent firm moves.
Commerce minister Anand Sharma made it clear that there would be no going back on allowing 51% FDI in multi-brand retail as it was a "decision cast in stone" and said the government was ready to face any challenge in Parliament.
Speaking ahead of the winter session of Parliament, when the opposition is planning to press motions, including a no-confidence motion, over the issue, Sharma asserted that a government could not be expected to have "vetting of its policy and endorsement of executive decisions either by ideological opponents, some of whom have blinkers on or those who have partisan agenda".
Talking to journalists en route to Phnom Penh along with prime minister Manmohan Singh, Sharma said, "It is high time that realisation dawns upon all concerned that shrill discourse and sensationalisation in recent years has caused enormous damage to India's image, the investment climate, and hurt India's economy."
He maintained that "in a constitutional democracy which is rule-based and rule-governed, if there is any issue, those get addressed. We do not need opposition discourse for the concerned institutions and authorities who will look into such matters. It does nobody any good."
Asked to comment on a move by former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) member Trinamool Congress to bring a no-trust motion on FDI during the session beginning November 22, Sharma said, "In a democracy, there can be difference of opinion and it is expected of the opponents of the government to take a position with regard to policy decisions.
"[But] here is a decision which is in the executive domain which requires no legislative approval. In the history of Indian parliamentary democracy, an executive decision has never been dragged into Parliament motions."