While the Pension Bill looks set to get Parliamentary approval this session with BJP, the principal opposition, agreeing to it, prospects of another key legislation, the Insurance Bill, looked bright today with the Janata Dal (United) declaring its support for it.
“The Janata Dal (United) will support the Pension and Insurance bills in Parliament,” party secretary-general, spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member K C Tyagi told The Indian Express today. Explaining the party’s position, he said that the Pension and Insurance bills had been formulated during the NDA regime. “How can we go back on them now?” he asked. The JD(U) has 20 MPs in the Lok Sabha.
JD(U) MP N K Singh said, “We believe that it is in the country’s overall interest to get long-term capital flows. All measures, which will help to tide over the current account deficit, are welcome.” He added that the government is yet to take up the Insurance Bill and has not come to his party with the exact formulation: 49 per cent FDI or a mix of FDI and FII or increasing the FDI ceiling while keeping the voting cap intact. The BJP wants a cap of 26% on FDI and 23% on FII.
Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley respectively and Yashwant Sinha, the opposition party had agreed to support the Pension Bill but refused to back the Insurance Bill.
The opposition, it was learnt, was divided on the issue of the party’s stance on the Insurance Bill with a section of senior leaders supporting it on the plea that the BJP’s economic philosophy is different from the Left’s. At a time when arendra Modi is showcasing his “Gujarat development model” in the run-up to next year’s general elections, the opposition party could ill-afford to be seen as stalling economic reforms just for the sake of opposing the UPA, argue BJP leaders who are not in agreement with the party leadership’s stand on this issue.
With JD(U) also supporting the Insurance Bill, the government has the numbers in Parliament to push the Insurance