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Bill fails to appear in Cabinet meet

Bill fails to appear in Cabinet meet
The fate of the Bill which will enable the introduction of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in Delhi, hangs  in balance as Delhi cabinet, so far, has failed to take up the issue due to the health issues of chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

According to Delhi assembly secretariat, till Monday evening, secretariat had not received any Bill regarding amendment to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act to  facilitate direct purchase of produce from farmers by multi-national retailers.

The amendment Bill has already been drafted and was to be examined by the cabinet meeting on Monday.

Although, the late evening meeting  took place at the residence of Dikshit, the cabinet didn’t clear the APMC Act to remove hurdles in ensuring ‘effective’ implementation of FDI in multi-brand retail.

The Bill was likely to be tabled in the winter session of the House, beginning on Tuesday.

The session, which runs till 14 December, will have a total of four sittings.

According to top level sources, the Bill can still be passed by Delhi government in this four-day session, after clearing from the assembly secretariat.

Dikshit, who has been strongly backing the Centre’s decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail,will try to implement FDI in the city by early next year. Officials said Delhi government was considering setting up a wholesale market in Tikri Khud area in west Delhi, where it has around 72 acres of land.

They said the government is likely to allow foreign retail giants to set up shop in the area.

Political experts believe that the winter session is likely to begin on a stormy note, with opposition BJP deciding to oppose the government’s decision to implement FDI in multibrand retail strongly.

Leader of opposition,VK Malhotra, said the opposition will try to corner the government on a range of issues such as delay in regularisation of unauthorised colonies, price rise and inflated power and water bills. ‘We will forcefully oppose the government decision to allow FDI in multibrand retail, as it will adversely affect smalltraders,’ said Malhotra.

The senior BJP leader said BJP will also vociferously raise the issue of ‘corruption’ and deteriorating law and order situation in the city.

Meanwhile, assembly speaker Yoganand Shastri has already accepted BJP’s notice for a discussion on FDI in multibrand retail.
Dipanshu Roy

Dipanshu Roy

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