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RS passes general insurance Bill amid Opposition call to send it to select panel

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 11, 2021

The Bills were passed amidst continued Opposition protest over the Pegasus spyware issue

The Rajya Sabha passed the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, moved by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman; the National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill and the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, moved by Minister of Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal, in separate voice votes.

The Bills were passed amidst continued Opposition protest over the Pegasus spyware issue.

‘Need more discussion’

The Opposition members walked out of the House protesting the heavy presence of security personnel during the debate. It had demanded the Centre to send the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Bill to a select committee but it was rejected.

Also read: Opposition adamant on demand to send General Insurance Bill to Select Committee

Members of the TDP and YSRCP said in the House that the Bill which impacts the insurance sector needs more discussion. Others, including Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Shekhar Ray and RJD’s Manoj Jha, alleged that the Bill favours a few crony capitalist friends of the BJP.

Later, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the Bill was passed with the presence of a large number of security personnel.

‘Diluting govt holding’

The government refused to send the Insurance Amendment Bill to a select committee – a demand by all Opposition parties including those close to the BJP. What happened this evening was worse than atrocious,” Ramesh said.

The Bill proposes three amendments to remove the requirement that the Centre must hold 51 per cent shares of the GIC, to insert a provision for providing for cessation of application of the Act to such specified insurer on and from the date on which the Centre ceases to have control over it and to insert a new provision providing for liability of a director of a specified insurer, who is not a wholetime director.

Also read: Pegasus row: Opposition to step up protests

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill replaces the Central Register of Indian Medicine by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine. The National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill is to insert a new sub-section (5) in section 58 to provide all powers and functions of the Central Council of Homeopathy to the National Commission for Homoeopathy.

Published on August 11, 2021

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