New Delhi: Key UPA ally, the DMK is unlikely to attend the Cabinet meeting on Thursday as the party is not keen on hiking FDI in insurance sector. DMK leaders have cited prior programmes as reason to skip the meeting. The Cabinet is expected to clear 26 per cent FDI in pension and raise the cap in insurance to 49 per cent on Thursday. Currently, no foreign investment is allowed in the pension sector and only 26 per cent FDI is allowed in insurance.
The move on FDI in pension will need Parliamentary ratification as insurance is governed by an act of law and is not an executive domain. The Cabinet is also likely to approve the Pharma pricing policy, despite drug experts alleging that there are major loopholes in the pricing of drugs. This reform is expected to make pricing more consumer friendly, but perhaps not in the long run.
The Cabinet will also consider the Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) Bill to 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. It will also take up the Companies Bill to bring all sectors under the Companies Act, amendment to the Competition Act and a proposal for operationalising the Infrastructure Development Fund (IDF), sources said.