New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday indicated it will not obstruct the passage of the Insurance Bill as it said that it was in principle the UPA's "baby" and most concerns over it were addressed by the parliamentary panel.
The Bill, which proposes to raise the foreign investment cap in the sector to 49 per cent, is likely to soon be passed with the parliamentary panel having endorsed it after incorporating Congress's suggestion for a composite cap on overseas investments.
"Some or most of our concerns were met in the Committee... This (bill) is our idea, in principle our baby. However, nitty-gritties have to be seen. Subject to that we do not find any reason to oppose it," said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi.
However, he noted that there "cannot be a blank cheque" of support on such issues to the government while parrying questions on whether the absence of a dissent note by the party in the parliamentary panel report was not an indication that it had decided to back the Bill.
"There is no rule which requires a party to attach a dissent note. None of this should take away from the prerogative of the House to deal with an issue and debate it," he said.
He said it will have to be seen whether the Bill being brought by the government was different from the report of the panel, which was only recommendatory in nature.
At present only 26 per cent FDI is allowed in private sector insurance companies. The hike in foreign investment limit is estimated to attract about Rs 25,000 crore in overseas funds.
"The Committee recommends that the composite cap of 49 per cent should be inclusive of all forms of foreign direct investment and foreign portfolio investments," the report said.
The government is likely to bring the Bill for consideration of the Upper House as early as next week. Congress's support for the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008, is crucial as the ruling NDA does not have a majority in the Upper House.