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FDI: Oppn keeps its cards closed ahead of today’s meet
Anita Katyal
Our Political Correspondent

New Delhi, December 6
While the Opposition is keeping up the suspense, the government is hoping that tomorrow’s all-party meeting will end the ongoing deadlock in Parliament so that it can get down to normal business. Both Houses of Parliament have remained paralysed since the winter session commenced on November 22.

Finance Minister and Lok Sabha leader Pranab Mukherjee, who will chair the meeting, will formally inform all the floor leaders about the government’s decision to put its FDI policy on hold in view of the all-round opposition to it and to facilitate the normal functioning of Parliament.

After the meeting, Mukherjee will make a statement in Parliament, saying that the “ decision to allow 51 per cent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail trade will be suspended until a consensus is evolved among all the stakeholders.”

Opposition parties are non-committal about their stand, saying they will only react after hearing what the government has to tell them. They have been insisting that the ruling coalition should rollback, not hold back, the FDI policy. Addressing a party programme today, BJP leader Arun Jaitley reiterated his party’s opposition to the policy which, he said, will harm the interests of farmers, small retailers and consumers. UPA ministers were,however, optimistic that despite its rhetoric, the opposition will not persist with its demand for a rollback as it is only a matter of semantics.The opposition, it was pointed out is also under pressure that it stop its stalling tactics and allow Parliament to function.

For all purposes, the FDI policy has been put in cold storage and is unlikely to be implemented till after the UP elections.





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