FEMA: Nath says changes require passage in one House

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Sunday said the RBI notification amending FEMA regulations to enable FDI in multi-brand retail requires passage by only one House of Parliament to come into effect rebutting the Opposition's claim that the notifications will fall through if they do not get approval of both Houses.

While the UPA has the requisite numbers in the Lok Sabha, it remains a minority in the Rajya Sabha with the SP and the BSP remaining non-committal so far. While the government is yet to get any assurance from these parties as yet, Kamal Nath told The Indian Express that he is "confident that we will have a majority" in the Upper House as well by the time voting takes place.

Asked about this issue at a press conference in Lucknow on Sunday, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was reported to have said his party would participate in the debate on FDI in Parliament on Tuesday. Asked about the SP's stand on voting, he said the party's Parliamentary Board would take a decision on it.

For once, it's the government that is hoping that the Opposition is quick in decision-making so far as it concerns their stand on FEMA notifications. The government would like to get the approval of the notification by Parliament in the current session itself so that its FDI policy in multi-brand retail gets rolling immediately. The government tabled the notification in the Lok Sabha last Friday and, as per rules, it will come into effect if no MP moves an amendment in the next 30 days (in one session or two or more successive sessions). As the Winter session of Parliament is scheduled to continue till December 20, the government would like to deal with any notice from Opposition parties seeking modification or annulment of the notifications before this date so that the issue does not stretch to the next Budget session.

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