The BSP on Monday refused to fully commit on its support to the government on FDI-in-retail vote in Parliament, but made it clear that the party would not like to stand with the "communal forces". The final decision would be known only on the floor of the House, party chief Mayawati said here.
“Inviting FDI-in-retail without clauses for the use of local produce would mean an invitation to foreigners to earn maximum profits here. It will affect farmers and small traders,’’ Mayawati said.
“The BSP cannot support FDI-in-retail at present, without seeing the results. We will decide about voting on the floor of the House as we also do not want to stand by the communal parties,’’ Mayawati said.
Within minutes of Mayawati revealing her rather ambivalent stand at a press conference, Parliamentary Affairs
Minister Kamal Nath told the media that the government is "committed to the Constitution Amendment Bill" - the SC/ST job promotion quota Bill that the BSP chief has been pushing for.
“It was listed as No 1 item in today’s agenda in Rajya Sabha,’’ Nath said. However, the House was adjourned after paying tributes to former Prime Minister I K Gujral. There was no confirmation on whether the Bill would be again listed for business in the Upper House on Tuesday, to keep Mayawati from going astray.
The government mangers remained as ambivalent on the quota Bill as Mayawati was on FDI voting, to be taken up in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In the list of revised business for Tuesday, the job promotion quota Bill was listed as item no 2. “V Narayanasamy to move that the Bill further to amend the (117) Constitution of India be take into consideration,’’ it said. Clearly, the government is not taking chances.
Continuing with her slippery stand, Mayawati said: “Investment is important for any developing country. You have to look for the FDI, if you have exhausted options of loans from foreign countries. But we need to think about the negative impact also. Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia invited FDI, but the results were not very good and their economies have suffered.’’
While putting forth a cleverly crafted caveat, the BSP chief said the non-Congress governments were not being forced to adopt the FDI policy. It has been left to the state governments to decide which way to go. A good FDI deal should be able to add value to local produce, which could then be sold in local and overseas markets.
She also termed as “bogus’’ the Congress party’s attempt to project FDI as a panacea for all ills.