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Let insurance bill pass, Naidu appeals to opposition

Posted on Aug 03 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 3 : Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu appealed to opposition parties to cooperate in the successful passage of the insurance amendment bill, which is supposed to be taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha Monday.

"I appeal to all opposition parties in parliament, particularly the Congress, to cooperate in passing the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008 that seeks to enable much desired capital inflows into the insurance sector," Naidu said in a statement.

"Penetration of insurance coverage in the country is being adversely impacted on account of inadequate investments," he added.

The upper house members have sought time to study the proposed changes in the bill, that seeks to increase in the foreign investment limit for the sector to 49 percent from the current 26 percent, and was approved by the cabinet last month.

In the 243-member Rajya Sabha, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 59 members and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) which is supporting the reforms has seven members.

Expressing the government's willingness to hold a detailed discussion' on the contents of the proposed bill, Naidu said: "I and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley desire to discuss this bill tomorrow (Monday) with leaders of Congress and other opposition parties so as to understand their concerns and address the same."

The Congress is backing the Trinamool Congress and Left parties' proposal to send the bill to the parliamentary Select Committee, which would scuttle any government move to get the legislation passed by convening a joint session of two houses.

The party justified its decision saying that the amendments moved by the NDA government mark "substantive changes" from the original bill that was introduced by the first United Progressive Alliance government in 2008.

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