Advertisement

HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Undeterred UPA pushes ahead to pass insurance bill

Saubhadra Chatterji and Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 22, 2012
First Published: 23:11 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 23:13 IST(22/11/2012)

The ongoing tussle over the FDI policy, which spoilt the first day of the winter session of Parliament, has not dampened the mood of the UPA government to push other economic reforms. On Thursday, it sought time from the Rajya Sabha for passing the contentious the Insurance Act (Amendment) Bill.

Advertisement

At the meeting of the business advisory committee of the Upper House on Thursday, parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath pitched for the bill and four hours was allotted for its debate and passing. The date for the debate, however, will be decided later by the government.

The insurance bill proposes to enhance the cap of FDI from the existing 26% to 49%, among other things. Introduced in Parliament in 2008, the bill continued to face stiff resistance from the opposition as well as the UPA’s own allies.

Although finance minister P Chidambaram is talking to the opposition parties, the passage of the bill still looks like an uphill task. The BJP — whose support is crucial for the government on this issue — seems to be upset that the government has not accepted the finance standing committee’s recommendations to retain the FDI cap at 26% for the insurance sector. The parliamentary panel was headed by the BJP’s Yashwant Sinha.

“Our stand remains the same. We are not in agreement with 49% FDI in insurance sector,” Sinha told HT. The Left parties are also opposed to the bill while the SP and the BSP are yet to spell their stands.

At least four reforms related bills — amendments to insurance, pension fund, banking law, companies law and forward contracts regulations — have been listed by the government for passing in this session.

The latest move indicates that the government plans to test the waters by putting the insurance bill on the block ahead of other reforms items.

Advertisement
more from New Delhi

Delhi: HIV patient gets 7 years' jail for robbery

A Delhi court has sentenced an HIV-positive man and his wife to seven years in jail for robbery and house trespassing. The court said there were no grounds for leniency on account of health since such crimes were on the rise and needed to be curbed.

Advertisement
Most Popular
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved