'Govt ready to face any challenge on FDI'

Hitting out at the opposition for their plans to "drag" decision on FDI to Parliament, the government today said the "shrill discourse" and "sensationalism" over the last few years have caused enormous damage to India's image and hoped the enthusiasm of foreign investors would now be bolstered by recent firm moves.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma made it clear that there will be no going back on allowing 51 per cent FDI in multi- brand retail as it is a "decision cast in stone" and said the government is ready to face any challenge in Parliament.

Speaking ahead of the Parliament session when Opposition is planning to press motions, including No-Confidence Motion over the FDI issue, he asserted that a government cannot be expected to have "vetting of its policy and endorsement of executive decisions either by ideological opponents, some of whom have blinkers on or those who have partisan agenda."

Talking to journalists en route to Phnom Penh along with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sharma said, "It is high time that a realisation dawns upon all concerned that shrill discourse and sensationalisation in recent years has caused enormous damage to India's image, the investment climate and hurt India's economy."

He maintained that "In a constitutional democracy which is rule-based and rule-governed, if there is any issue those get addressed. We do not need opposition discourse for the concerned institutions and authorities who will look into such matters. It does nobody any good."

Asked to comment on a move by former UPA ally Trinamool Congress to bring No-Confidence Motion on FDI during the Winter Session of Parliament beginning on November 22, Sharma said, "in a democracy, there can be difference of opinion and it is expected of the opponents of the government to take a position with regard to policy decisions.

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