The government on Tuesday introduced a bill providing for raising foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in insurance sector to 49%, amid strong protest from Opposition MPs who questioned government’s legislative competence to bring it in the Lok Sabha while a similar bill was pending in the Rajya Sabha.
Introduced in the Lok Sabha, The Insurance Laws (Amendment) bill, 2015, sought to replace an ordinance issued by the government earlier, which allowed increasing the FDI cap in insurance sector from 26 to 49%.
The Rajya Sabha could not take up for consideration a similar bill in the last session following disruption over controversial remarks made by ministers and ruling MPs.
While parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu defended the introduction of the bill, Opposition MPs alleged that the government was setting a new precedence.
P Karunakaran and MB Rajesh (CPM), Saugata Roy (TMC) and NK Prem Chandran (RSP) cited rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha to argue that the bills of the same nature cannot be moved in one House of Parliament when it was pending before another House.
Naidu cited another rule saying the government was well within its rights to introduce the bill with prior permission of the Speaker. The issue was finally settled through a division of vote, which the government won. The issue also figured in the Rajya Sabha.