FDI at 26%, nod for insurance bill likely today

Hindustan Times, May 10, 2012

The union cabinet is likely to approve an amended Insurance Laws Bill, retaining the foreign direct investment (FDI) cap at 26%, on Thursday. Sources said the government expects the bill to be tabled and passed in Parliament during the current budget session.

This is in line with the recommendations of the standing committee, which had observed that the proposal to raise the FDI cap to 49% in insurance companies was ?without any sound and objective analysis of the status of the insurance sector, following liberalisation?.

The government had introduced the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha in 2008, which was later examined by Parliament?s standing committee.

?The increased role of foreign capital may lead to the possibility of exposing the economy to the vulnerabilities of the global market… flight of capital outside the country and also endangering the interest of policy holders,? it said.

The cabinet is also expected to consider a billfor setting up a coalsector regulator to ensure transparency in the allocation of coal blocks, and expedite the resolution of pricing disputes. ?The cabinet may take up the coal regulatory bill tomorrow (Thursday),? coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said.

On Thursday, the cabinet is likely to consider a bill to set up special universities in the public and private sector for research and innovation in the country. The draft bill has been titled ?Universities for Research and Innovation Bill-2012?.

It proposes to set up 14 universities that will be fully funded by the government. The bill also provides for setting up private universities, also under the PPP model, the number of which will be determined according to the demand and eligibility of the private players.

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