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Parliament works at last after retail FDI put on backburner news
07 December 2011

Parliament today functioned normally for the first time since the start of the winter session two weeks back, after the government and the opposition finally reached a compromise on the issue of foreign investment in retail.

Both houses of Parliament went through the Question Hour for the first time since the present sitting began on 22 November.

An all-party meeting to discuss the issue was duly called this morning as demanded by the opposition. The meeting chaired by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee passed a resolution to suspend a cabinet decision allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail till a consensus is reached.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee made a brief statement in the Lok Sabha, reading out the resolution passed in the all-party meeting.

"The decision to permit 51-per cent FDI in retail trade is suspended till a consensus is developed through consultation among various stakeholders," the one-paragraph resolution said.

Mukherjee said he was "glad" that all political parties have agreed. He said as per the government's latest formula, they would now consult all stakeholders, including the chief ministers of all states and political parties, before going ahead with the policy.

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Parliament works at last after retail FDI put on backburner