New Delhi, Dec 5: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today told opposition leaders, including Sushma Swaraj and Sitaram Yechury, that the decision on allowing FDI in retail was being put on hold and a final decision will be taken only after consulting all opposition parties.
“The government is willing to keep the decision in suspension. It will take a final decision only after consultations with all opposition parties and the stakeholders,” sources said after Mukherjee spoke to Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, and CPI(M) MP Yechury this morning.
Swaraj is believed to have told Mukherjee that the government should come out with a statement on the issue, which has created a logjam in Parliamentary for several days now.
Yechury is understood to have told the Finance Minister that an all-party meeting be convened before the next sitting of Parliament on Wednesday during which the parties could be informed about the decision.
An announcement could then be made in Parliament, the sources said, adding that the all-party meeting could be held on Wednesday morning before the proceedings begin.
Mukherjee had last week told an all-party meeting, which had asked the government to reverse the FDI decision, that he would get back to them after he consulted the Prime Minister and the Union Cabinet which had taken the decision.
Yechury is understood to have told Mukherjee today that it would be in fitness of things that all political parties are informed about keeping the decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in retail in abeyance.
The opposition, however, is still firm on having a discussion in Parliament on major issues like price rise and blackmoney under rules which entail voting, the sources said.
Pranab Mukherjee will address a meeting of Congress Parliamentary Party on Wednesday in the backdrop of the move to put on hold the decision allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.
This will be Mukherjee's second briefing to the CPP during the current session of Parliament which has remained paralysed on the FDI and several other issues since it began on November 22.
Mukherjee, who is the Leader of the Lok Sabha, has already told opposition leaders that the decision on allowing FDI in retail was being put on hold and a final decision will be taken only after consulting all opposition parties, sources said.
Mukherjee had earlier told Congress MPs that FDI in retail was one of the measures that could help bring down prices by checking the huge differences between the farm-gate prices of products and their wholesale and retail prices.
In the one-hour long briefing, Mukherjee had apprised the party members in detail about the steps taken by the government to check the outflow of blackmoney to tax havens abroad.
Meanwhile, Congress has issued a three-line whip to its members in Lok Sabha asking them to be present during proceedings on December 7 and 8.
Parliament sources said this has been done not for any particular issue but keeping in view the possibility of some “important business”.