FDI logjam persists on Day 3

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SummaryThe fate of a slew of reform Bills that have had a roller-coaster ride over the country’s tumultuous political terrain over the last many years looked uncertain again as Parliament did not transact any business for the third day on Monday, raising the spectre of the winter session being a casualty like the monsoon session, which was completely washed out.

These include the insurance Bill seeking to increase the FDI limit from 26% to 49% – the move could address capital constraints in the sector which needs an estimated $10-12 billion for expansion – and the pension Bill allowing FDI up to the same level in pension. Other Bills listed for consideration include the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, which will pave the way for the Reserve Bank of India to start issuing new bank licences, and the Companies Bill that seeks to usher in a regime of non-intrusive regulation of corporates, balanced with greater shareholder democracy and more disclosure requirements. Legislation regarding tax reforms (the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill and Direct Taxes Code) and an industry-friendly Land Acquisition Bill are also listed for passing. Key governance reforms – the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill as also the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill for reservation to SC/ST in government jobs – are also on the winter session's agenda.

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