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Commerce minister's statement on FDI in retail deplorable: CAIT
The statement of Union Commerce Minister Shri Anand Sharma questioning the jurisdiction of Supreme Court on the matter of FDI in Retail made at Davos in an interview with a leading Indian news channel is highly deplorable, said Mr. B. C. Bhartia, National President and Mr. Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) today.

A couple of days back while hearing a petition on FDI in Retail, the apex court asked the Government to inform the Court within three weeks about the checks spelled out in the policy to protect interests of small traders.

Both Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal while reacting on the statement of Mr. Sharma said that the Constitution has demarcated the jurisdiction of both legislature and judiciary and as such the Government is empowered to make policies but it equally empowers the judiciary to examine that the said policy is within the four corners of the Constitution or not and as such the judicial right cannot be challenged.

The leaders said that from the beginning, the policy is under doubt because it presented the wrong and incorrect facts and figures. The policy which has by-passed the constitutional provisions, didn’t take care of the unanimous report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, gross ignorance of majority of opposing views received by the Government in response to its discussion paper, the retail stakeholders were never consulted, most of the Chief Ministers of different states have opposed the FDI in Retail, almost all political parties stood united against the policy.

They further said that the Preamble of the Constitution  guarantees social and economic justice to the citizens but the notification in question contravenes this basic fundamental of the Constitution and in this context, the questioning of apex court about protection of interest of small traders is logical and within the ambit of the jurisdiction.

Both Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal also said that the Government needs to clarify that the notification is merely a policy document and could get legal sanctity since the proposed amendments by RBI in rules and regulations of FEMA Act still need discussion and decision and therefore the Government should  not attach any question of prestige on  this vital issue.

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