In a move that could lead to increasing the ire of the opposition, the parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath on Sunday said that the FEMA notification dealing with FDI in retail needs to be passed by only one House as per rules. He also said they are prepared to wait till the budget session if necessary to get the Parliamentary nod.
Rejecting the contention of the opposition that the FDI decision cannot be implemented if the Rajya Sabha, where the UPA lacks majority, fails to endorse the FEMA notification, Nath told a TV channel: “If one House has passed it, it passes. It does not need both Houses to pass it. That’s what is prescribed in the rules.”
To a query on CPM leader Sitaram Yechury’s statement that if FEMA notification is not put through in both Houses, it can be challenged in court, Nath said: “Anything can go to court. If it goes, we will deal with it.”
Nath, however, accepted that the FEMA notification - which can be passed in the budget session as well since the government has 30 working days of Parliament to get the nod - may drag into the next session, which is three months away.
The debate on FDI in multi-brand retail in the Lok Sabha under a rule that entails voting is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Though he again reiterated that the government has the necessary numbers to win the vote in both Houses of Parliament, he admitted that he had not got any assurance from the SP and the BSP on the issue.
“I have good reason to believe that they (SP and BSP) will vote with the government because they are a responsible party and that they will understand the politics of it. They are not going to vote for the politics of the BJP,” he said.
He also denied that the government was trying to manipulate members from abstaining or coming to vote on FDI. “Just as I am not arranging for abstention of Sachin Tendulkar, I am not arranging for abstention from any party. I am not giving a thought to whether we will win here or lose there. I am confident of winning in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.