The government is ready for detailed discussion in Parliament on the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill 2008, but has appealed to the opposition for cooperation in passing the Bill, parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday.
The Bill envisages 49% foreign investment (composite cap including FDI or FII or a combination of both) in the sector. Sources, however, indicate there could be discussion on capping the voting rights of the foreign partners at 26%. The insurance sector needs around $12 billion in capital by 2020. Increasing the foreign investment cap to 49% is expected to bring foreign investments of $3 billion immediately, most of it in life insurance sector.
Naidu said, “I appeal to all opposition parties in Parliament, particularly the Congress, to cooperate in passing the Bill. Penetration of insurance coverage in the country is adversely affected on account of inadequate investments."
When the NDA government had proposed taking up the Insurance Bill in Rajya Sabha, former finance minister P Chidambaram had welcomed it and hoped the Bill would be passed in the current session of Parliament, he said.