Maintaining that the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) notification dealing with FDI-in-retail has to be passed by only one House of Parliament as per the rules, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath hinted that the government could wait till the Budget session, if necessary, to get the Parliament nod in this regard.
Nath also did not agree with the Opposition contention that the decision could not be implemented if it failed in Rajya Sabha. “If one House has passed it (the notification), it passes. It does not need both Houses to pass it. That is what is prescribed in the rules,” Nath told a TV channel.
To a query on CPM leader Sitaram Yechury’s statement that the FEMA notification dealing with the FDI has to be passed in both Houses of Parliament, and otherwise it could be challenged in the court, Nath said: “Anything can go to court. If it goes, we will deal with it.”
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said the FEMA notification could be passed in the Budget session as well, as the government has 30 working days of Parliament to get the approval.
The Lok Sabha debate on FDI under a rule that entailed voting will begin at 2 pm on December 4 and later in the Rajya Sabha.
Nath said the government has numbers to win the crucial vote on FDI in both Houses of Parliament. However, he said he has got no assurance from the SP and BSP. Yet, he expressed confidence that they would support the UPA. “I have a good reason to believe that they (the 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 denied the charge that the government was trying to manipulate the 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.