Insurance and pension get FDI boost, need parliament nod
“We will reach out to all political parties, especially the principal opposition party, to get the reforms bills passed,” Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the cabinet gave its nod to raise FDI in insurance to 49 per cent from 26, and allow at least 26 per cent foreign investment in pension funds. The cabinet also cleared amendments to the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2010, the Companies Bill and Competition Act.
The decisions follow the government’s move last month to raise the price of diesel, limit LPG subsidies, allow FDI in multi-brand retail and open up the civil aviation sector to foreign airlines. Those decisions encountered stiff opposition from the Trinamool Congress and opposition parties and caused Mamata Banerjee to quit the UPA coalition.
While accepting that Thursday’s bills would have to pass muster in parliament, Chidambaram maintained that he had no reason to feel the reforms measures would not be supported by other parties. “I don’t think we should jump to conclusions at this stage. Now that the cabinet has passed the amendments to the legislations, we will be seeking