RBI amendments in FEMA may spell more trouble for UPA over FDI in multi-brand retail

Government may face fresh trouble in Parliament over the recent RBI amendments in FEMA to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, with CPI(M) today saying these have to be voted within a time-frame as laid down in law.

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 Foreign Exchange Management (FEMA) Act, he said the amendments carried out to permit FDI in retail has to be tabled in Parliament for voting.

While the Reserve Bank of India notified the amendments on October 30, "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 December 13," 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 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.

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