FDI debate: Oppn warns SP, BSP in Lok Sabha

FDI debate

During the discussions, SP chief Mulayam Singh was seen chatting with Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD) said allowing FDI in multi-brand retail is nothing short of bartering the country's interests and felt the move would only benefit a few foreign

companies. She wanted to know if there was any safeguard for farmers.

"If Walmart is able to solve the problem of farmers, why is the US government giving about USD 20 billion subsidy for US farmers," she wondered.

Kaur said FDI in retail would give rise to a new breed of middle-men in the garb of quality control inspectors.

She sought to know from the government as to who would be held responsible for job losses in the retail sector.

"Do not turn your back on your own people to favour the foreigners," Kaur said in a spirited speech.

Her speech was interrupted by Congress members from Punjab, including Pratap Singh Bajwa and Ravneet Singh, who sought to raise a point of order.

Their requests were rejected by Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda, who was in the Chair.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was seen signalling Bajwa to sit down and allow Kaur to speak.

Anant Geete (Shiv Sena) too opposed the move and said the government, by allowing it, was inviting the East India Company.

Referring to the SP chief invoking Mahatma Gandhi who was against foreign companies, Geete said "we oppose it in Parliament and also on the streets. We will not allow any foreign company to step on Indian soil through the Gateway of India."

Supporting the motion, M Thambi Durai (AIADMK) said the decision on FDI is a "rude shock" for retail vendors of the country.

He questioned the change in stand of the Congres on FDI in retail claiming that it had opposed the move in 2002 when NDA was in power.

... contd.

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