Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said a political consensus was required to speed up financial sector reforms, especially in pension and insurance.
"In the last two years, the reform in financial sector had been slow. It has to be quickened now," Chidambaram said at a function of National Insurance Corporation in Kolkata.
Underscoring the need for pension reforms, he said: "We have to finish the unfinished work in this sector to carry forward the financial sector reforms." He said India was the only country where the working population was increasing. "This will continue till 2040. After that, the aging population will start rising," he said.
The Finance Minister's comments come as the two key legislations — Pension Reforms and Regulatory Development Authority Bill and an amendment in Insurance Act to increase the FDI cap — are yet to be cleared for lack of consensus among political parties.
Chidambaram said the insurance sector was in a nascent state and the premium collection by all non-life insurance companies put together accounted for only 0.65 per cent of GDP against a global average of 3.43 per cent.