New Delhi: In a boost to the Narendra Modi government's reform agenda, the Congress has given a go-ahead to the Insurance Bill in the Select Committee, said sources. The government has proposed to hike foreign direct investment from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in the insurance sector.
The Left parties, Janata Dal United, Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party are likely to give a dissenting note and passage of the Bill will not be a smooth affair where the ruling NDA does not have a majority of its own. The Committee is likely to table its report in Rajya Sabha on December 10 and the bill could possibly be taken up for consideration next week.
With the Select Committee adopting the draft report, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed the hope that the insurance market expansion would expand once the Bill is passed by Parliament.
Jaitely expressed the hope during a meeting with British insurer Standard Life's Chairman Gerry Grimstone and Kotak Group chief Uday Kotak.
"The Finance Minister expressed his sense of satisfaction as the Parliamentary Select Committee has given its recommendations with regard to the Insurance Amendment Bill referred to it," an official statement said.
The panel's chairman Chandan Mitra said: "The draft report on the Insurance Bill was adopted by the Select Committee. We will table it in the Rajya Sabha on December 10."
The members, he said, have been given time till Wednesday evening to submit their dissent notes, if any.
The bill was initially introduced by Congress-led UPA government in the Rajya Sabha.
The Select Committee was set up in August by the Rajya Sabha to scrutinise the Insurance Laws. The 15-member panel was asked to submit its final report by December 12 to Rajya Sabha.
(With additional information from PTI)