Govt to firm up view on Parl panel reports on insurance, pension
New Delhi: The government will soon finalise its response to Parliamentary panel reports on insurance and pension sector bills so that the modified versions could be taken up for consideration and passage in the second leg of Budget session beginning April 24.
The Micro Financial Sector (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011, will also be vetted by Cabinet for tabling in Parliament, a senior finance ministry official said.
"The long pending financial sector bills like the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill 2011, Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill 2011 and Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill 2008, will be soon sent to Cabinet for approval," a senior finance ministry official said.
The pension and insurance sector reform Bills are stuck for long on account of opposition from both BJP and key allies of the UPA government.
They oppose raising the foreign direct investment (FDI) cap in insurance sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent at present. They are also against opening up of pension sector to FDI.
The Standing Committee on Finance in its report on the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008, had said the proposal to increase the FDI cap to 49 percent in insurance companies seems to have been decided upon "without any sound and objective analysis of the status of the insurance sector following liberalisation".
Besides, the draft Micro Financial Sector (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011, had proposed that the RBI will be regulator for the sector.
In addition, a Micro-Finance Development Council will be set up to advise the government on formulation of policies, schemes and other measures required in the interest of orderly growth and development of the sector and micro-finance institutions with a view to promote financial inclusion.
In his Budget speech for 2012-13, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had proposed to introduce seven Bills in the Budget session. The second leg of Budget session will begin on April 24 and is expected to conclude on May 22.
He had said the government proposed to move the following Bills in the current session: Micro Finance Institutions (Development and Regulation), National Housing Bank (Amendment), Small Industries Development Bank of India (Amendment), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Amendment), Regional Rural Banks (Amendment), Indian Stamp (Amendment) and Public Debt Management Agency of India.
The Standing Committee on Finance has already given their recommendations on three Bills-- Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill 2011, Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill 2011 and Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill 2008.