Govt aims to pass pension, insurance bills in parliament

NEW DELHI Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:20pm IST

The parliament building is pictured behind marigold flowers in New Delhi November 22, 2011. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files

The parliament building is pictured behind marigold flowers in New Delhi November 22, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/B Mathur/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The government aims to pass bills opening up the insurance and pension sectors to foreign investors in the upcoming winter session of parliament, a minister said on Tuesday, the next step in a reform programme seen as key to reviving economic growth.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, addressing a news conference, said the government would give top priority to a package of financial bills in the month-long session that starts on Thursday.

Two of the bills, which would allow up to 49 percent foreign ownership of insurance companies and pension funds, have long been sought by investors. Foreign investors are now barred from buying into pensions, and the cap for insurers is at 26 percent.

Such reforms have been fiercely resisted by opposition parties and members of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's own coalition and criticised as helping foreign firms at the expense of Indian companies and ordinary people.

The government also aims to pass a bill that paves the way for the Reserve Bank of India to issue new banking licences, as well as increase its regulatory powers over Indian banks.

However, Singh's minority coalition is expected to struggle to pass many, if any, of the 25 bills it wants to clear parliament in this session.

Recent sessions have suffered frequent shutdowns and walkouts by lawmakers protesting against a slew of issues including reforms, inflation and corruption scandals, meaning that scant legislation has been passed. A row over a decision taken in September to allow foreign supermarkets such as Wal-Mart (WMT.N) set up shop threatens to stall business once again.

(Reporting by Nigam Prusty; writing by Matthias Williams; Editing by Ron Popeski)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

WTO Trade Deal

WTO Trade Deal

WTO clinches first global trade deal in its history  Full Article 

Kashmir Attack

Kashmir Attack

Ten dead in Kashmir's worst militant attack in more than a year  Read 

OPEC Meeting

OPEC Meeting

Saudis block OPEC output cut, oil price sinks further.  Full Article 

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP growth set to weaken, business wants reforms more than rate cut  Full Article | Related Story 

Social Media

Social Media

Twitter to start tracking users' mobile apps  Full Article 

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley likely to meet Rajan on Monday to urge rate cut  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

India moves to allow more businesses to offer basic financial services.  Full Article 

Forever21 in India

Forever21 in India

Forever21 sets sights on Indian cities, but please hold the hot pants  Full Article 

Japan Economy

Japan Economy

Japan inflation slows in October, output and spending show signs of recovery  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage