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Government fails to build consensus with opposition over Insurance Bill

Monday, 4 August 2014 - 10:47am IST Updated: Monday, 4 August 2014 - 11:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

The meeting of the government with the oppositon members in the Rajya Sabha over passing of the Insurance Bill ended with no consensus decision emerging out of it. NCP leader Praful Patel said the meeting was inconclusive and the parties would meet again in two days to discuss the issue.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu met the leaders in the wake of nine opposition parties giving a notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari for referring the bill to a Select Committee. NDA does not have a majority in the Upper House and will have to seek the support of other parties to move its first major economic reforms legislation for consideration. As a result of which the government did not move the Bill in the Parliament but decided to build a consensus before that.

Seven opposition parties in the likes of the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress (TMC), Janata Dal-United (JD-U), DMK, NCP, BSP attended the meeting today. Although the meeting was not attended by any left parties or the AIADMK.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had yesterday said he and the Finance Minister will talk to leaders of Congress and opposition parties on various aspects of the bill that seeks to raise the FDI cap in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent. 

Read More: Everything you need to know about the Insurance Bill

Naidu had appealed to the opposition to cooperate in passing the bill, saying the government is ready to consider any "meaningful suggestions" of the opposition. "I fervently appeal to Congress and other opposition parties to enable passing the proposed legislation for enabling 49 per cent foreign investment in insurance sector, in this Budget Session of Parliament in the larger national interest. "Spirit of constructive cooperation on issues of economic development need to be the basis of parliamentary democracy," he had told reporters in Hyderabad.

The Insurance Bill is the first major reform under the NDA government and is seen by many as essential to give some relief to the cash starved sector. 

Read More: Narendra Modi government's first big challenge is Insurance Bill

With inputs from PTI and ANI

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