The Pension Bill gets stalled.... once again
The government has once again stalled the long-awaited Pension bill that was anticipated to be passed in the monsoon session next month. The delay is attributed to differences of views.
The government flagged signs of passing the long-time pending Pension bill but yet again, did not bring it up during its cabinet session, citing differences of views over the issue.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, a key ally of the UPA has been opposed to the reforms in the pension sector saying it is against the interest of the common man. The government was to incorporate a proposal in the Bill to ensure assured returns to pension fund subscribers. This would be introduced with certain conditions with a view to protect the interest of policy holders. They added that this would be in line with the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance.
The bill also seeks to open the seeks to open the pension sector to private sector and foreign investment. As for the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the pension sector, the government has agreed to cap the FDI limit at 26 percent in line with ceiling in the insurance industry.
The committee wanted the government to specify the FDI cap in the legislation itself, besides providing for minimum guaranteed return to pension subscribers.
There has been no elaboration on what the 'differences of views' that led to the shelving of the bill. However political analysts have said that this could be a move by the government to prevent any friction within the alliance ahead of the Presidential elections.
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