Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury has blamed UPA government for the impasse in the Parliament saying it was not willing to have a vote on the FDI issue
New Delhi: The Union Government may face fresh trouble in Parliament over the recent amendments in Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, with CPI(M) on Tuesday saying these have to be voted within a time-frame as laid down in law, reports PTI.
The statement by senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury came on the fourth day of disruption of Parliament over the FDI issue as he blamed UPA government for the impasse saying it was not willing to have a vote on the FDI issue.
Citing the FEMA, he said the amendments carried out to permit FDI in retail has to be tabled in Parliament for voting.
While the RBI notified the amendments on 30th October, "Section 48 of the FEMA Act says once these amendments are made, they have to be placed before both the Houses of the Parliament as soon as possible.
"The convention is that they should be placed before the 15th sitting of the first session after the amendments are made. That means by 13th December," Yechury told reporters.
Once the amendments are tabled, they have to be disposed of through voting within 30 days.
"Government cannot escape from bringing an amendment. We do not know why is it not agreeing to it (voting)," he said.
"So vote on this issue is inevitable. This is the recourse we will legally take as law makers," he said.
Yechury referred to a recent Supreme Court observation on a public interest litigation (PIL) that the amendments cannot be effected unless relevant sections of the FEMA Act are amended by Parliament. The petitioner had challenged the government's FDI policy and charged it with not following the due process of law.
The apex court, while fixing 22nd January as the next date of hearing, told the petitioner, "You are assuming that it (amendments) won't be placed before Parliament. Your assumption is ill-founded. We would know about it only after the Winter Session of Parliament.... Let's see whether it is placed before Parliament or not and then we will see.
"They are at their own peril. They can take risk. If their action does not stand in Parliament then they made the policy at their own peril," the bench further observed when the petitioner contended that the apex court should intervene as a Parliamentary committee has opposed FDI in retail.
On the issue of government's decision to transfer cash for benefits like pensions, scholarships and health-care, Yechury objected to the idea of cash transfer using the Aadhar platform, saying it would lead to reduction in subsidy and dismantling of the PDS system.
"Aadhaar has not yet received legal sanctions and it has not been approved by Parliament as yet. Ultimately, it will reduce subsidy and dismantle the public distribution system," he said.
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