Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the government was determined to push the much awaited insurance bill seeking to increase the foreign direct investment limit to 49% from the current 26% and would not allow political obstructionism to derail the reform process.
“The government is extremely determined to go ahead with this (insurance sector) reform and will not allow a Parliamentary disturbance to obstruct or delay a reform of this kind,” he said at the annual general meeting at Ficci. “It’s time for us to be impatient on reform agenda,” Jaitley added.
While the government’s mid year economic review tabled in Parliament on Friday said that the country is likely to grow at 5.5% this financial year, Jaitley said the priority in 2015-16 would be to cross a growth rate of 6% while improving revenues and delivering on other promises.
The opposition parties meanwhile remained firm in no allowing the insurance bill to be passed in the current session of Parliament. “The Opposition stands united against Insurance Bill…we are confident of not letting it pass in this session,” Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) politburo member said. Echoing the same sentiment, Trinamool’s spokesperson Derek O’Brian said, “Opposition to the Insurance Bill is our commitment to the people… We will never, ever make any compromise on that issue.”
The finance minister said the constitutional system can effectively deal with and defeat the policy of political obstructions. Jaitley said that overseas investors have waited and watched for over a decade and are confounded by the fact that a country committed to reform has not been able to reform the insurance sector.
“Today the choice is clear. ..You either reform or miss the bus once again, and if the latter were to happen, a whole generation will not pardon us,” he said.
The GST bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on Friday.