Modi govt bends, sends Insurance Bill to select committee of Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: Giving in to opposition pressure,the government today referred the controversial Insurance Bill to the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.

The House adopted a motion in this regard after FinanceMinister Arun Jaitley moved it while informing members thatthe panel has been asked to look into the Bill and submit itsreport on the last day of the first week of the next session.

The Committee will have Chandan Mitra, Mukhtar Abbas Naqviand Jagat Prakash Nadda (all BJP), Anand Sharma, BK Hariprasadand JD Seelam (all Cong), Satish Chandra Misra (BSP), KC Tyagi(JD-U), Derek O'Brien (TMC), V Maitreyan (AIADMK), NareshGujral (SAD), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Kalpataru Das (BJD), PRajiv (CPI-M) and Rajiv Chandrasekhar (Ind) as its members.

The government had to buckle under the opposition pressureafter it failed to convince an adamant opposition to get itssupport for the first major economic reform initiative of thenew government.

Cutting across party lines, major opposition parties hadjoined hands on the issue demanding that the Bill be sent to the Select Committee.The bill, which proposes to hike FDI limit in insurancesector to 49 per cent, was caught in logjam with theCongress-led opposition insisting that certain new provisionsincorporated in the bill required a fresh look and expertconsideration.

Though government was confident of getting the bill passedin Lok Sabha, it was wary of its passage in the Rajya Sabha,where the ruling NDA does not enjoy majority.

Though government had earlier listed the bill in RajyaSabha, it was deferred and, strategically, not listed later as it continued consultations with various parties for support.

With a view to gaining support, the government has made itclear that it is open to amendments in the bill.

Congress, which had supported a hike in the FDI cap whenit was in power, wanted the bill to be referred to a Select Committee for threadbare examination of the issue since thegovernment has brought some amendments.

PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 14, 2014 14:30:56 IST