NEW DELHI : The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008 to hike the foreign investment cap from 26 to 49 per cent was taken off the Rajya Sabha’s agenda on Thursday as an united Opposition stalled its consideration in the business advisory committee (BAC) meeting to seek time to study it since the government has proposed as many as 97 amendments to the original Bill piloted by then UPA-I government.
Some opposition parties even wanted the Bill sent to the House Select Committee to scrutinise the new amendments, but a consensus was reached to take it up for discussion and possible passage on Monday. It seeks the management control to remain with the Indian promoters even while allowing 49 per cent FDI in the insurance sector.
Meanwhile, after meeting heads of PSU banks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the government’s campaign for financial inclusion to ensure that 7.5 crore households that do not have access to banking have at least two accounts. The efforts will also be made to introduce mobile banking on all kinds of phones, he added.
At present, financial inclusion and the reach of the banking system is extended to 58-59% of the population, and therefore, large areas are yet to be covered, Jaitley said.