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FDI in retail: All-party meet ends, deadlock continues

The Opposition and government fail to break deadlock of Winter Session over FDI in multi-brand retail.

Headlines Today Bureau        Last Updated: November 29, 2011  | 11:14 IST

An all-party meeting to arrive at a consensus over the contentious issue of FDI in the retail sector and the deadlock in Parliament over it was held on Tuesday but failed to achieve a breakthrough.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee chaired the meeting, which was attended by top NDA leaders, including the BJP's L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar will also meet MPs from all parties to try and sort out the issue.

The FDI issue on Monday forced adjournments in both Houses soon after they reconvened after the wekend break. The Winter Session has so far seen no business because of continuing protests by the Opposition over several issues, such as price rise, corruption and FDI in retail.

The Opposition has united to protest the government's decision on FDI in retail and threatened to keep Parliament in limbo till the decision is reversed.

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BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, "For the first time in Indian parliamentary history, the ruling party is not interested to run Parliament. Congress has brought the new FDI policy to disrupt the functioning of Parliament."

"When Gurudas Dasgupta spoke on the issue, finance minister was not present in the House," Hussain added attacking the government.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said the Opposition should allow Parliament to function.

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"We are willing to discuss whatever the Opposition wants, but they should allow the House to function... Only four weeks are left in the session and we cannot run the House like this. I request the Opposition to engage in debate and dialogues," Shukla said.

Opposing the Centre's decision, former West Bengal finance minister and CPI(M) leader Asim Dasgupta said, "I oppose FDI as it will kill the small retailers. Though it may create some job, but thousands of shopkeepers will become jobless."

Courtesy: Headlines Today

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