‘Reforms, pragmatism has won’: Govt. on FDI vote

New Delhi, Dec 5: Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Wednesday expressed delight with the government’s win on FDI in retail in the Lok Sabha, saying this is a victory of reforms and a defeat of those who look at India’s economy through ideologically coloured lenses.

“We hope the opposition will reconsider their position and join the government in this constructive endeavor,” he added.

Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal, who had made a point by point rebuttal to all the allegations made by Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj on the first day of the debate in the Lok Sabha yesterday, said it is the vote, which counts.

“I am very happy. It is the vote, which counts and majority are in favor of the government,” he said.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, also expressed delight after the government’s win in the Lok Sabha, saying FDI policy has the approval of the house.

The motion moved by Sushma Swaraj against FDI in retail was defeated in the lower house by a margin of 35 votes. 218 members voted in favour of the motion, while 253 voted against.

Members belonging to the Samajwadi Party, and Bahujan Samaj Party stayed away from voting by staging a walkout ahead of voting. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar announced in the house that the motion has been defeated.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma earlier replying to the debate said the government has been continuously consulting all the stakeholders including the chief ministers on FDI in the retail sector.

He said every state has the right and no one can deprive the right of an elected government to take important decisions.

Sharma also pointed out that several studies have shown that around 35 percent or Rs 65000 crore worth of fruits and vegetable are lost post harvest due to lack of infrastructure, cold storage and agro processing facilities.

Sushma Swaraj earlier appealed to the Prime Minister to reconsider the decision as only four out of 18 parties spoke in favour of the decision.

She also expressed her disappointment with the Samajwadi Party’s move to walk out of the Lok Sabha just ahead of the voting.

Mulayam Singh Yadav’s 21 MPs and Bahujan Samaj Party’s 22 MPs abstained from voting on the FDI issue. (ANI)