The government and leaders of parties opposing the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008 and other parties in the Rajya Sabha today held a meeting to share each other's concerns in the matter. Congress leader Anand Sharma said his party wanted clarity on the implication of the proposed Bill inter alia, on the settled definition of 'Foreign Direct Investment' given the composite nature of 49 percent FDI proposed in Insurance Sector, including Foreign Institutional Investment.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in his response said the language and contents of the proposed Bill were that of the UPA government only and no major new amendments were proposed. He noted that most of the amendments suggested by the Standing Committee related to change of dates and numericals and are not consequential. He said the government is ready to consider whatever changes/formulation to be suggested by the Congress Party right away.
Jaitely and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu voiced concern over grossly inadequate insurance coverage to the people of the country. They referred to the need to enable sufficient capital flows into insurance sector. At this stage, Naidu suggested that Congress and other parties who had reservations about some of the proposed amendments may discuss among themselves and come out with their suggestions which can be discussed at another meeting in the next one or two days. This suggestion was accepted, a Parliamentary Affairs Ministry release said.
Naidu further said given the government's willingness to consider suggestions of the opposition in the matter, Congress and other parties should enable passing of the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008 in the current Budget Session. He assured the leaders of other parties, that government is ready for a detailed discussion on the Bill in Rajya Sabha. Jaitely, Naidu, Santosh Gangwar, Prakash Javdekar represented the government at today's meeting convened by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister.
Anand Sharma and Satyavrat Chaturvedi of Congress, Ramgopal Yadav (Samajvadi Party), Satish Chandra Misra (BSP), K.C Tyagi (JDU), Praful Patel (NCP), Mukul Roy and Derek O'Brien(AITMC), Kalpataru Das (BJD) and Kanimozhi (DMK) attended the meeting.