Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: An all party meet today called by the government on Insurance Bill in parliament has ended inconclusively according to sources.

The meeting was attended by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss the bill with the leaders of the opposition today to understand their concerns and address them.

This came in the backdrop of the opposition demanding that the bill be referred to a select committee.

Leaders from 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.

Sources also indicate that the government is likely to hold another round of discussion with the opposition parties after two days on this issue.

Government has sought cooperation of the opposition parties in passing Insurance Bill in the Rajya Sabha in the ongoing Budget session.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu yesterday had appealed to all opposition parties in Parliament, particularly the Congress to cooperate in passing the bill that seeks to enable the much desired capital inflows into the insurance sector through hike in Foreign Direct Investment upto 49 percent.

He said, penetration of insurance coverage in the country is being adversely impacted on account of inadequate investments. He said, the government is ready to discuss the contents of the bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Several Opposition parties, including Congress, CPI (M), SP, BSP,DMK, JD(U), Trinamool Congress, and RJD have reportedly given a notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohd. Hamid Ansari for referring the bill to a select committee.  The AIADMK, which despite not being an ally supports the government on key issues, has also agreed to support the opposition on this issue.

Stressing on spirit of constructive cooperation on issues of economic development as the basis of parliamentary democracy, the Minister said, the proposed legislation for enabling 49 percent foreign investment in insurance sector should be passed in the current session in the larger interest of the nation.

The Minister pointed out that the proposed amendments are based on the recommendations of the Standing Committee.

He also reportedly quoted former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in this context who had said that government is a continuing entity and each government should build on what has been accomplished by previous government.

When the NDA government decided to take up the Bill for consideration, Mr. Chidambaram welcomed the move and hoped that it will be passed in the current session.

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