Mamata has made up her mind to align with NDA: NCP

The Trinamool Congress chief is pushing for a no trust motion and appealing to other UPA constituents to quit the alliance.

New Delhi: With the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief pushing for a no trust motion and appealing to other UPA constituents to quit the alliance, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Tariq Anwar on Friday said Mamata Banerjee`s stiff opposition over a slew of reforms announced by the Centre holds no significance for she has made up her mind to align with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

"Mamataji has made up her mind to align with the NDA in the time to come. That`s why she is following the same line of the NDA and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from now. Her words are not going to have an impact because she has been with the NDA earlier also," said Anwar.

"She also had an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier. So, she can be on their (NDA) side at any point of time. There is no meaning of her revolt under these circumstances," he added.

Mamata Banerjee, who withdrew her support from the Congress-led UPA Government after Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail was cleared last month, is on the warpath and has been urging the allies of the ruling coalition to withdraw their support as well.

The DMK has refused while the Samajwadi Party is buying time.

Anwar further said that the NCP is in favour of foreign investments and want more and more foreign investments to come to India.

"If we want to strengthen the Indian economy, then we need more investments to come in. I believe that the steps being taken by the government now will benefit the common man in the days ahead," he added.

Anwar also played down the absence of the NCP leaders in the Cabinet meeting, where crucial decisions concerning the reforms are taken.

Undeterred by opposition to its decisions on FDI in retail and threats to block these legislations, the UPA Government unleashed a second wave of reforms on Thursday deciding to open the pension sector to foreign investment and raising the FDI cap in insurance to 49 percent.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared a raft of big-ticket legislative proposals including the new Companies Bill, amendments to Competition Act and Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act.

Significantly, the Cabinet decided to fix a cap of 49 percent of FDI in the insurance sector raising it from 26 percent. While doing this, it straightaway took the cap in the pension sector to 49 percent saying it generally follows the insurance sector.

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, cleared by the Cabinet, seeks to open up the pension sector to FDI. The FDI cap could go up to 49 percent.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill seeks to raise the FDI cap insurance sector to 49 percent from the 26 percent at present.

The Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) Bill will empower commodity markets regulator FMC with greater financial autonomy, facilitate the entry of institutional investors and introduce new products for trading such as options and indices.

The new Companies Bill will be a thorough overhaul of the existing laws while the Competition Act seeks to bring all sectors under its purview, except involuntary mergers in sectors like banking and insurance which are already regulated.

A proposal for operationalising the Infrastructure Development Fund (IDF) for enhanced funding of infrastructure projects was also approved.


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