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Insurance Bill: Opposition parties step up pressure

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on August 01, 2014

But Govt confident of passing it on Monday

Eleven Opposition parties have stepped up pressure on the Centre to send the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill to a select Parliament committee. They have written to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari that they need more time to study the Bill.

The 11 parties are the Congress, CPI(M), CPI, SP, BSP, Trinamool Congress, NCP, National Conference, RJD, DMK and JD(U). The AIADMK and the BJD have not signed the letter initiated by the Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad. Both the parties are learnt to have supported the suggestion to constitute a select panel to study the Bill.

It is learnt that the Opposition will move a motion to send the Bill to the select committee. However, the Government looks confident, with a Minister saying the motion will be defeated on the floor of the House even though the BJP is in a minority in the Rajya Sabha.

At present, the Government has the support of 57 members, while the total strength of the parties who have requested a select committee is 140. The Government, sources said, has already reached out to the AIADMK and the BJD, requesting them not to be part of the Congress’ floor strategy.

It is also learnt that BJP floor managers are talking to BSP leaders in the House.

While the Congress did take the initiative for a select committee, it did not seem confident it can push through its demand on the floor of the House on Monday. “We were also a minority in the Rajya Sabha, but could muster support to pass many legislations. Two days are enough for the Centre to change the stand of some of the parties who have signed with us,” a Congress leader said.

Within the Congress itself, a section believes the Bill does not prescribe too many changes. “Now we are in the Opposition. We will have to oppose the Bill,” the leader quipped.

New provisions

The Congress has said several provisions such as the proposal to use the FII route for investments is completely new. “A select committee is the best via media...the only way out,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.

He added that the Congress is not opposing the Bill on principle. Since it is a 60-page legislation and puts forth several changes, it will be better if it is looked into by a select committee, he added.

Published on August 01, 2014
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