Thursday, 4 October 2012

Cabinet opens up insurance, pensions sectors; Oppn lashes out at govt

Cabinet opens up insurance, pensions sectors; Oppn lashes out at govt
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Oct 04 (CMC) The Union cabinet approved the opening-up of the insurance and pension sectors to foreign investment on Thursday as part of a new series of reforms aimed at reviving business sentiment. 

The changes, which must be approved by Parliament, will allow foreign companies to increase their ownership of insurance companies from 26% to 49%, an official from the Prime Minister's office said.
The proposal in the Pension Fund regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill seeks to open up the pension sector to foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

"The cabinet has cleared the pension and insurances bills," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Embattled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has signalled his intention to push ahead with a make-or-break reform agenda as he attempts to spur flagging economic growth and revive his own political fortunes.

Years of corruption scandals and policy paralysis have tarnished his image and that of his party, the left-leaning Congress which has united behind a push to open up new sectors of the economy to overseas investors.

The changes will face fierce resistance in Parliament, where the ruling coalition is now technically a minority after the departure of one of its former allies due to a clash over foreign investment.

This is the second time within a month that the cabinet would consider such major proposals to push reform initiative.

On September 13, the government had approved the controversial decision of allowing 51% FDI in multi-brand retail, besides relaxing FDI norms for civil aviation and broadcasting sector.

A meeting of the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also gave its nod for some crucial changes in the Companies Act in what is being called another major push to economic reforms in less than a month.

With the proposals of foreign equity in pension and insurance getting the nod of the union cabinet, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) today said it would oppose the proposals on the floor of Parliament.

"We will oppose these anti-people policies in both Houses of Parliament. We will also launch movements across the country to protest against these policies," TMC Member of Parliament (MP) Sougato Roy said.

Samajwadi Party (SP) general secretary Kiranmoy Nanda also said that his party would oppose FDI in pension and insurance bills on the floor of Parliament saying it would be better for the people of the country if the UPA government resigns from office before the scheduled time.

"We will oppose these anti-people proposals of allowing FDI in pension and insurance on the floor of parliament. We can't support anti-people policies," said Nanda.

1 comment:

  1. We are in such a situation, where it seems, people's voice is not being heard!