As the government plans to take up the long-pending Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill in the Budget session, Congress Friday indicated its support to the proposed legislation provided there are no change in the draft bill which was introduced in Parliament by the UPA government.
The party, however, aired its opposition to raising the FDI cap in the defence sector to 49 per cent. Former defence minister A K Antony has already slammed the move, accusing the NDA government of succumbing to pressure tactics from lobbies pushing for 100 per cent FDI in the sensitive sector. He had feared that increasing the FDI limit from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in defence production could harm the national security.
Congress spokesperson P C Chacko said the BJP-led government’s decision to increase the FDI cap in insurance sector to 49 per cent demonstrates its “double-speak and “double-standards” as the party had opposed the move when it was in the opposition. The UPA government made several efforts to convince BJP, but it had then refused and did not cooperate with the Manmohan Singh regime. “The BJP wasted a year’s time,” he said.
He pointed out that Narendra Modi, then the Gujarat Chief Minister, had tweeted that UPA was attempting to sell the country. “We have lost a valuable one year’s time. Congress party believes that foreign investment should come in insurance sector,” he said, adding that now the Insurance Bill could only be passed with the support of the party.
While indicating the party would support the legislation, saying “we do not resort to double talk or show double standards,” he hinted at the party reviewing its position if the Bill was not in the same form as introduced by the UPA government.
“We will take a considered position… we have to see and we have to listen to them what is their scheme… Now, if that same Bill is there or if there is going to be any change, we have to carefully study because we know that they are not clear about any of these things. They are trying to do something in a haphazard manner what they are bringing before the House,” Chacko added.