P Chidambaram seeks BJP help for key reforms legislations

Dec 12 2012, 17:10 IST
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Finance Minister P Chidamabaram Finance Minister P Chidamabaram
SummaryFinance Minister had discussions with Opposition leaders on 5 economic reform bills.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said he has discussed five key economic reforms legislations with BJP leaders and expects them to be passed by Parliament in the current session.

I have discussed all five economic reforms bills with leaders of Opposition (Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley). They understand there is an urgent need. I have offered to meet them again. I sincerely hope that principal Opposition party would cooperate, he said.

I hope all of them (economic reforms bills) will be passed, he said, adding, that whosoever is in the government has to get these legislations enacted.

The key economic reform bill which are pending before Parliament including Banking Laws Amendment Bill, Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, Micro Finance Institutions (Development and Regulation) Bill, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill.

Two bills -- Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011, and Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011,-- have already been passed in the Lok Sabha this session.

I have got two passed in the Lok Sabha. One has gone to the Rajya Sabha. There are three more, Chidambaram said.

The discussion on Banking Reforms Bill could not be taken up in the Lok Sabha following protest by Opposition which wanted the Bill to be referred back to the Standing Committee saying a significant clause has been added to it.

The minister ruled out the possibility of referring it to the Standing Committee on Finance again saying, No. There is only one clause. I have used Rule 80.

Chidambaram said suggestions to include a new provision had come from the Standing Committee on food and consumer affairs.

On the possibility of dropping the clause from the Banking Bill, Chidambaram said, But why? I have accepted another Standing Committee (on Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry) recommendation. There is only one clause.

The clause, which is being objected to by the Opposition, seeks to allows banks to participate in commodity futures trading.

Of the other key reforms legislations, the Insurance Bill seeks to raise the FDI cap in the sector to 49 per cent, from the existing 26 per cent.

I told them (Opposition) let me pass the Banking Bill and I would come back to you over the weekend and discuss the Insurance Bill, he said.

Besides, the Pension Bill also proposes to allow FDI in the sector to the extent it is proposed in Insurance Bill, which is 49 per cent.

As for the MFI Bill, it seeks to empower

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