The Insurance Bill seeks to raise foreign investment cap in the sector from 26% to 49%, and the Pension Bill aims to increase it to the same level in pension funds, among other things.
This would bring much-needed capital into the sectors, and give retail investors the confidence to buy these products in a big way. Insurers need funds to maintain healthy capital base, offer a wider bouquet of products and protect consumer interests against insolvency.
The pension bill will pave the way for setting up a regulator for the sector aimed at providing social security to millions of employees through efficient intermediation of long-term household savings.
The finance minister also sounded a stern warning to tax dodgers, announcing that there would be no amnesty for them. "There is no case for amnesty. Almost all returns are online (now) except a small category which was exempt," he said. "We have a huge amount of data which is being mined. Therefore, there is no case for amnesty today."