Fully prepared for House situation, says govt

The government on Tuesday sought to downplay the threat to its stability in the face of a possible no-confidence motion over its decision to allow controlling foreign stake in supermarkets, saying it was fully prepared to meet the situation in Parliament.

"It is the job of the opposition to oppose. Let them bring the matter to Parliament. The government is fully prepared," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to New Delhi from the ASEAN and East Asia summits in Phnom Penh, said.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is preparing for a no-confidence motion over the decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and 49 per cent FDI in insurance and pension.

Left parties have sought a discussion in both Houses under sections that require voting something the BJP too has resolved to do, while continuing to explore the possibility of a no-confidence motion.

Ruling coalition member DMK has said it is not in favour of FDI in multi-brand retail. The SP has said the same. BSP supremo Mayawati said last month that she would consider backing FDI in retail if it helped farmers.

Sharma said dissenting parliamentarians can only move amendments to the Foreign Exchange Management Act, not insist on voting on executive decisions taken under it. When the decision to raise the limit of foreign ownership in multi-brand retail, insurance and pension was taken, the House was not in session. The government will place a notification on the decision under FEMA after Parliament meets on Thursday, as the law gives it time until 30 sittings.

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