Insurance Bill retains proposal to raise FDI cap to 49%
What has reaffirmed the government’s conviction regarding its move to permit up to 49% FDI in the sector is the large number of representations it received from foreign investors and insurance companies requesting not to reduce the FDI limit from the proposed 49% in the Insurance Bill, the sources added.
These representations said lowering the FDI limit from 49% for a political compromise would complicate matters and adversely affect the ability of the sector to raise long-term foreign capital. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority also backed the move to allow 49% FDI.
Those who argue that FDI and FII should be separate have concerns over the possibility of a single foreign investor getting a 49% stake in an insurance company, and at the same time two or more Indian entities being in the minority by sharing the remaining 51%.
However, Gautam Mehra, executive director, PwC, said, “If you give a 49% stake to foreign investors, they will be more comfortable and will get serious long-term investments.” Currently, even with 26% FDI, the foreign joint venture partners anyway have the ability to control the company through the power to appoint people to key positions such as the chief risk officer and the chief financial officer, he pointed out.
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