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Expect Insurance Bill to be passed in winter session: Jaitley

PTI 05 Nov 2014, 17:05:08 PM IST
PTI

New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday expressed hope that the long-pending and controversial Insurance Amendment Bill, that seeks to raise FDI in the sector from existing 26 per cent to 49%, will get Parliament nod in the upcoming winter session.

"I do hope that the amended bill would be passed in the forthcoming session of Parliament later this month," Jaitley said at the India Economic Summit.

The month-long winter session of Parliament is scheduled to commence from November 24.

The much-delayed insurance bill has been referred to the select committee of Parliament. The bill, which comes with a rider that the management control would rest in the hands of Indian promoter, has been pending since 2008 in the Rajya Sabha.

The minister said India is pursuing the policy of allowing foreign investment with sectoral cap keeping in mind the requirements of the economy and the appetite of the Indian political system.

"When we were in the government last time we have opened up the sector. At that time the political system had an appetite for a limited opening. We are now opening up the sector a little more," he added.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, which proposes to hike the FDI limit in the insurance sector to 49%, has been caught in a logjam with the Congress-led opposition insisting that it be referred to a select committee.

Bowing to opposition pressure, the government had in August agreed to refer the Insurance Bill to the 15-member select committee. The committee is expected to submit its report by the third week of November.

The reform, according to experts, could increase the flow of foreign investment to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore into the private insurance companies. The move would help insurance firms to get much needed capital from overseas partners.

There are about two dozen private sector insurance firms both in life and non-life segment in the country.