New Delhi:  Finance Minister P Chidmabaram on Saturday expressed the hope that Insurance Amendment Bill, which seeks to raise FDI cap in the sector to 49 percent, will be passed soon.
He said the optimism stems from the fact that there is difference of opinion only with regard to one clause in the long-pending Bill, for which he is in touch with the main Opposition party BJP to sort that out.
"I sincerely hope that we can pass the Insurance Amendment Bill on which the difference only on one clause and once the Insurance Bill passes everybody's broadly agrees that the Pension Bill will follow," Chidambaram said.
Pension Bill is only a reflection of what is contained in the Insurance Amendment Bill, he said. The Finance Minister said he is in touch with the leaders of the Opposition on the Bill.
"I will of course meet them once again in the run-up to the session. They told me that they are holding internal consultations within their party. Once the principle
Opposition party indicates its mind we will certainly consult other parties also," he said.
The Budget Session of Parliament will resume on April 22, after about a month-long recess. Insurance Bill seeks to raise foreign investment cap in the sector from 26 percent to 49 percent. The pension bill too aims to increase it to same level among other things. The Insurance Laws (amendment) Bill, 2008 had provided for an increase in foreign investment limit to 49 percent. However, the standing committee on finance headed by senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha did not favour the hike in FDI ceiling, indicating wide opposition to this increase in the limit.


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