Bumpy road ahead for insurance bill in RS

Modi government’s showpiece economic reform agenda, the Insurance Bill, may not have a smooth sailing in the Rajya Sabha (RS) next week as the Congress may not go the extra-mile to ensure its passage.

The Congress has forced changes to the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill to ensure the composite FDI in the sector does not cross 49 per cent.

However, the Trinamool Congress, Left parties, Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal-United have other views and have given dissent notes when the legislation was discussed by the RS Select Committee.

The Congress leaders do not plan to join the protests these parties plan to hold in the RS when the bill comes up for consideration and passage on Tuesday, but they would press the government to pass it after proper discussion.

“We are a responsible opposition. We do not want the bill to be passed in a din,” the Congress sources said.

There are two views in the Congress on the stand the party should take in Parliament. One view is that initiatives such as the Insurance Bill and Goods and Services Tax were taken during the United Progressive Alliance rule and the Congress should support the government in passage of the bill.

Another view is that the Congress is now in the Opposition and should stick to its new role and not help the Modi government.

“It is not our job to pass the bill. It is for the government to ensure that its legislative agenda gets through,” AICC spokesperson Rajeev Gowda had said.

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