ibnlive » Politics

Dec 23, 2008 at 04:02am IST

Govt introduces Insurance Bill on sly, gets the beating

New Delhi: While the uproar in Parliament on Monday was about A.R Antulay and his comments on Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare, Government also introduced the insurance reforms bill perhaps hoping that the Antulay battle will drain the energy of the Opposition to fight reforms in the insurance sector.

But the Bill had the left up in arms. In fact one Left member tore the agenda paper into shreds.

Soon the fight got physical and minister of state for finance P K Bansal had to be protected so that he could introduce the Bill. The house had to be adjourned

“They will allow the hard earned saving of middle class people in the country to be invested in the share market abroad,” Sitaram Yechury/ CPM Polit Buro Member

Reform in insurance is one of the issues that has deeply divided the Left and the Congress - the most controversial provision being raising the cap of FDI from 26 per cent to 49 per cent - a move bitterly opposed by the Left.

But a parting of ways has put new life into the Bill, even the BJP has turned an ally on this issue.

But many people are questioning the timing of the Bill. Not just that elections are around the corner, financial institutions abroad too are filing for bankruptcy one after another and need a lot more to do build confidence.

There has been an immediate fallout. The employees of LIC, the largest public sector insurance corporation have called a strike to oppose the move.