Insurance Bill: Sinha hints at support if govt reaches out

Insurance Bill: Sinha hints at support if govt reaches out Mumbai: The Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and senior BJP leader, Yashwant Sinha, Thursday hinted at supporting the Insurance bill, saying it depends on how the government reaches out to the Opposition.

Stating that it is not difficult to find a solution to pass the Insurance Amendment Bill, which proposes to increase the FDI cap from 26 percent to 49 percent, he said "if the government reaches out to the Opposition, there can be solution."

Sinha was addressing a re-insurance summit organised by the industry body IMC here this evening. However, he refused to comment on the issue further.

The government was keen to get the new insurance bill passed in the winter session but Sinha's party stiffly opposed hiking the FDI cap.

On making the country a reinsurance hub, he said that it was necessary to have an enabling legal framework to be put in place first.

"Despite the insurance sector being open to foreign investment, we don't have a single reinsurance company setting shop in the country. I think that the present amendments will not work and we need a new bill for this," he said.

Talking about the reinsurance sector, the General Insurance Corporation (GIC- Re) chief Ashok Roy said the country should have a favourable taxation regime for the general insurance space.

He also proposed that the government create special economic zones for developing the country as a reinsurance hub.

Chairman and Managing Director of New India Assurance G Srinivasan said that foreign reinsurance companies should be governed by the same rules as the domestic re-insurers for a level playing field in this space.

Lloyd's Asia Managing Director Kent Chaplin said the company is hopeful that present insurance amendment bill will pass in Parliament, adding that the company is keen to open branches in the country.

PTI