Arun Jaitley hopeful of passage of Insurance Bill in Winter session

New Delhi, Nov 9: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday expressed hope that the long-pending Insurance Laws Amendment Bill, which seeks to raise the FDI cap in the sector to 49 per cent, will get the Parliament approval in the upcoming Winter Session.

"We have opened up investments in various sectors. I do hope this (Winter) session I will be able to pass the Insurance Bill," he said at the India Global Forum meeting.

The month-long Winter Session of Parliament is scheduled to commence from November 24. FDI in the sector is capped at 26 per cent at present. The much-delayed Insurance Bill has been referred to the Select Committee of Parliament.

The Bill, which comes with a rider that the management control would rest in the hands of Indian promoter, has been pending since 2008 in the Rajya Sabha.

The Minister said India is pursuing the policy of allowing foreign investment with sectoral cap keeping in mind the requirements of the economy and the appetite of the Indian political system.

"When we were in the government last time we opened up the sector. At that time, the political system had an appetite for a limited opening. We are now opening up the sector a little more," he added.

Bowing to opposition pressure, the government had in August agreed to refer the Insurance Bill to the 15-member Select Committee.

The committee is expected to submit its report by the third week of November. The reform, according to experts, could increase the flow of foreign investment to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore into the private insurance companies.

The move would help insurance firms to get the much-needed capital from overseas partners.

There are about two dozen private sector insurance firms, both in life and non-life segment in the country.


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