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Indian government lambasted over foreign supermarkets

Published on Dec 4, 2012 6:14 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's struggling government endured a stormy parliamentary debate on Tuesday as opposition lawmakers demanded it reverse a decision to allow in foreign supermarket giants such as Walmart.

The Congress-led ruling coalition believes it has the numbers to win a vote in the lower house expected on Wednesday, and hopes that victory will enable it to push ahead with further contentious reforms to tackle the slowing economy.

Parliament had been deadlocked for days as opposition MPs held protests demanding the retail policy was put to a vote, even though it requires only cabinet approval and has already been declared law.

"Large retailers always pressurise the small farmers," Sushma Swaraj, the fiery leader of the main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), told parliament.

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