With only Cong support, it may be tough going in Parliament

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 24, 2014 Published on July 24, 2014

But Left, regional parties to oppose

The Government’s decision to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance is unlikely to face stiff opposition in Parliament as the Congress is already supportive of the idea.

The Congress has been maintaining that the Narendra Modi Government has been following in its footsteps while taking policy decisions. Congress ally, Nationalist Congress Party, too, supported the decision to hike the FDI limit in insurance.

“I think that is a welcome move. My party would not have any hesitation in supporting further opening up of insurance sector, the pension fund, because these are ultimately the areas from where you will get the maximum money for our long-term infrastructure projects,” said Praful Patel, NCP leader and former Minister.

Incidentally, the Standing Committee on Finance, headed by veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, had opposed an increase in FDI cap in insurance. The then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had reached out to the BJP to allow passage of the Bill in Parliament. However, both Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj had opposed it when they were in the Opposition.

The Left and regional parties, however, have voiced their opposition. “What the BJP opposed earlier as opposition, is what they have now started implementing... It was a BJP Chairman-led Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance that had submitted a unanimous report opposing increasing of the sealing from 26 per cent to 49 per cent. But now their Cabinet clears this,” said CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.

BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said his party will oppose the move in Parliament.

“There is a need to expand the insurance sector. But sufficient funds are available within the country for that purpose. The BJP has opposed the move in the Finance standing committee earlier. The erstwhile NDA regime had given a categorical assurance to Parliament that it will not increase the FDI limit,” Mahtab added.

BJP General Secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the decision was taken in the interest of the nation. “Whatever is good for the country, we shall do it,” he told reporters outside Parliament.

Published on July 24, 2014
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