Cong to support insurance, GST bill

Cong to support insurance, GST bill

The much-delayed economic reforms legislations such as increasing FDI in insurance and ushering in Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime could be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament beginning November 24 with the Congress indicating its support.

The BJP has reached out to the Congress to ensure the passage of GST bill as well as the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, which are considered to be key economic reform measures that were stalled for years.

“Ironically, it was the BJP which created roadblocks in the passage of these bills. Now that it is in power, the BJP wants to pass it. We will support it provided the spirit of the legislation remains the same,” a senior Congress leader said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who is on a tour of South Korea, is expected to meet leaders of political parties to arrive at a consensus on these key bills.
“I do hope that the amended Insurance bill would be passed in the forthcoming session of Parliament later this month,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at the India Economic Summit on Wednesday.

Besides the two economic reforms measures, the Modi government would also be keen to pass a bill to replace the Ordinance on e-auction of coal blocks for private companies.
The Ordinance was promulgated after the Supreme Court quashed the allocation of 214 coal blocks to companies since 1993. The Congress is also learnt to be on the same page as the NDA government on this issue.

Efforts are also on to get Parliamentary nod to the Constitutional amendment bill for the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. The bill is currently being examined by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs chaired by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

The Finance Ministry is also keen to introduce a bill to merge the Forward Market Commission (FMC) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The FMC regulates the forward trading of commodities, while Sebi is the capital market watchdog.

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