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FDI in retail suspended to avoid mid-term polls: Pranab

NEW DELHI: Strongly defending its decision to allow FDI in retail, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today told Congress MPs that the government was "compelled" to suspend the move to avoid "pre-mature elections".

Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party, Mukherjee also apologised to members who had supported the government in allowing FDI in retail but said going ahead with the decision could have created a "crisis" for the government.

"I am sorry to those members who had supported FDI in retail and might be feeling let down. But if we had gone ahead it could have created a crisis for the government," he said.

A member quoted Mukherjee as saying that had the government gone ahead, it could have led to mid-term polls.

It was the responsibility of the Congress to take allies on board, he said in an apparent reference to the Trinamool Congress which had opposed the decision.

The Trinamool Congress, a UPA constituent and partner in the government, had said it would vote in favour of an adjournment motion against FDI in retail.

This stand had created a piquant situation for the government, Mukherjee said, pointing out that an adjournment motion was similar to a no-confidence motion and never before has any party in the government voted in favour of such a motion.

"This compelled us to put the brake on FDI decision," he said.

Making it clear that suspension of the FDI decision did not amount to rollback, Mukherjee said that the government would strive to develop a consensus on the issue. PTIBack



2G: Swamy to become witness against Chidambaram

NEW DELHI: A Delhi trial court has allowed Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy to become a witness in his complaint against home minister P Chidambaram in 2G case. The Court has asked Swamy to appear in the witness box on December 17 to make his statement. 

The courst had accepted Swamy's plea to examine two officials in the 2G case which he says will help him prove Union home minister P Chidambaram's alleged role in the scam. As part of the process of establishing Chidambaram's alleged role, Swamy had sought the court's permission to examine the two witnesses -- a joint director of the CBI and a joint secretary in the finance ministry.




Fai pleads guilty for being ISI agent in US

Washington: Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai has pleaded guilty to illegally receiving $3.5 million from Pakistan for lobbying its activities in the US. He had been paid by the intelligence agency ISI. Fai pleaded guilty to two counts. One, to concealing from US authorities that he was acting on behalf of a foreign government. Two, violation of tax laws.

The FBI arrested him on June 19. He faces five years in jail for the first count and three for the second. Judge Liam O’Grady set his sentencing for March 9. Last week, a Pakistani man had pleaded guilty to making a jihadi promotional video for the Pakistan’s Lashkar-i-Tayyeba, which carried out Mumbai attack in 2008. 




Apple loses lawsuit in China

Beijing: Apple Inc suffered a setback in the Chinese market on Wednesday as a court rejected its lawsuit against a local company for alleged infringement of its 'iPad' trademark, as a result of which it may have to sell the product under a new name in China or cough up USD 1.6 billion.

Apple may have to sell its popular iPad tablet computers under a new name in the Chinese mainland in future if it does not first purchase the trademark from a Chinese tech firm as a result of the verdict, official media here reported Wednesday.




Chargesheet filed against Karmapa, 9 others

Shimla: The police has filed a charge sheet in a court in Una against Buddihist spiritual leader Ogyen Trinley Dorje and nine others in connection with recovery of foreign and Indian currencies worth Rs 7 million from his monastery in January this year.

While the Karmapa, Tenjing Nangyal and Goyo T Siring Singhe were booked under section 120-B of IPC for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to commit an offence, the others were chargesheeted under sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable securities), 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (using forged document as genuine) and 489-C (possession of forged or counterfeit currency noters) of the Indian Penal Code.




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