New Delhi: An end to the deadlock in Parliament appears to be in sight with government telling the Opposition that the controversial decision on FDI in retail has been put on hold and that they will be consulted before a final decision is taken. READ MORE:Finance Ministry wants FDI in airlines
However, the Opposition maintained that it was not satisfied with the 'holdback' decision and insisted on a complete roll back.
The government and opposition parties will be meeting on the morning of December 7 when they will be formally told of the decision and to prepare the strategy for resumption of the session which has been paralysed since the past two weeks.
Finance Minister and Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called opposition leaders including Sushma Swaraj and CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury to convey to them that the government has put the FDI decision on hold and a final decision on the issue will be taken only after consulting stakeholders and the opposition.
Swaraj and Yechury told Mukherjee that the opposition was for resumption of the functioning of Parliament but the government should make it clear its position formally at the all party meeting.
The opposition also made it clear that they were for complete rollback of the FDI decision and not for temporary suspension.
The government made the climbdown on Saturday when its ally Trinamool Congress Chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made the announcement that Mukherjee has conveyed to her that the decision has been put on hold. The all-party meeting, to be chaired by Mukherjee, on Wednesday ahead of the sitting of the Houses is likely to discuss the mode of discussing the issues of price rise and blackmoney on which the Opposition has given notices of adjournment motion.
Mukherjee, who was to brief Congress MPs on the FDI issue on wednesday, will now do so on December 8.
Both Swaraj and Yechury had suggested to Mukherjee that Government convene an all-party meeting to convey its decision and then inform Parliament.
"I told Pranabda that he should pick up the threads where they were left the last time. Since he had promised to get back to the opposition in the last all-party meeting, a similar meeting should be convened on Wednesday (December 7) in the morning where the government can clarify its stand," Swaraj said.
"BJP has clearly stated in the all-party meeting that it wants a rollback. Let the Government come out with a formal response," party Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.
"We continue to stick to our demand of unconditional reversal of the decision on FDI.
Mukherjee told us that Government has decided to put the decision of FDI in suspension and wanted the Parliament session to continue," Yechury later said.
However, this did not convince Swaraj and Yechury and both insisted that an all-party meeting be called where the government can formally convey its view.
"On that basis, a decision can be taken," Yechury said.
Sources in both the BJP and the Left parties insisted that since there are differences within the Union Cabinet as well as in Congress on the FDI issue, such informal communication may not be the last word.
UPA allies TMC and DMK have openly opposed the decision while NCP has suggested that the government should go by the sense of the House on this matter.
Asked whether Mukherjee had told her about rollback of the decision or merely about holding it back, Swaraj said he had not discussed the issue in detail and insisted on making the stand clear on the floor of the House.
She later called up Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and told him about the conversation with Mukherjee and emphasised that an all-party meeting be held.
Asked what would be the BJP response if the government only offers to defer the decision on the pretext of making changes in the policy, Swaraj said her party was firm on its stand on rollback of FDI in multi-brand retail but would see what the UPA states on Wednesday before taking a decision.
Yechury said government has to rollback this decision. "Whatever proposal the government has it should keep it before the all-party meeting. On its basis, we will take a decision," he said.
In reply to another question, Swaraj said even if the FDI deadlock is resolved, BJP will press for acceptance of its adjournment motion on black money and a debate on price rise (moved by the Left parties) under Rule 193 (which does not entail voting).
Both the Left parties and the BJP also sought to blame the government for the deadlock.
"I told Mukherjee that we always want Parliament to function. The question is will the government allow the Parliament to function. It should correct the decision it has made," Yechury said.
New Delhi: An end to the deadlock in Parliament appears to be in sight with government telling the Opposition that the controversial decision on FDI in retail has been put on hold and that they will be consulted before a final decision is taken.
READ MORE:Finance Ministry wants FDI in airlines