BJP supports FDI in pension, insurance sectors: Gadkari

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari on Friday said his party would not block the plans of the Central Government to open the insurance and pension sectors to foreign investments if it helps the people.

Gadkari also made it clear that the BJP would oppose a nuclear liability bill.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government wants to open up the insurance sector by raising the limit on foreign direct investment to 49 percent from the present 26 percent.

The government also wants to allow foreign funds to hold a maximum 26 percent in joint ventures with Indian firms in the pension sector.

The Finance Ministry has also proposed revising FDI norms in the pension sector in line with norms in the insurance sector. The government has also postponed placing these bills in the Parliament, until it is sure about a consensus from its allies and main opposition parties after facing huge protests in the past.

"I always appeal to the government, if you have any policies which are going to strengthen our country, which is in the interest of the poor man and which is helpful to the country for the progress, BJP is open minded," said Gadkari.

"We are ready to discuss and we will support all these issues," he added, when asked about his party's stand on the bills to open the lucrative sectors to foreign investment.

India's food prices accelerated for the second straight week in late-March, strengthening expectations of a hike in key policy rates when the central bank reviews its policy on April 20.

"This is all because of wrong economic policies, the farmers' suicides, poverty, unemployment, price rise and inflation. These are all problems related with wrong economic policies of the Congress party," said Gadkari.

"The problem is particularly due to the bag governance of the Congress-led UPA Government. This is the basic reason that we are facing the problems," he added.

But Gadkari said his party would oppose the nuclear liability bill if the government introduces it to parliament this month, a move that could further delay entry of U.S. firms into the country' s 150 dollar billion nuclear market.

The BJP says the bill favours private players as it seeks to put a maximum liability of about 450 million dollars on the state-run reactor operator without placing any compensation burden on private suppliers and contractors.

The Central Government is expected to introduce the nuclear liability bill in the Parliament this month. (ANI)

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