Insurance bill likely to go through in Winter Session: Jaitley

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday expressed the confidence that Insurance Amendment Bill, which seeks to raise the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from 26 per cent to 49 per cent, will be passed in the forthcoming Winter Session of Parliament.

“I hope to get a positive report from the select committee… Insurance bill may be passed (in the coming session of Parliament),” he said at a book release function in which he was pitted against former Finance Minister P Chidambaram at a book release function.

The debate, during launch of the book ‘2014: The election that changed India’ written by well known television personality Rajdeep Sardesai, was moderated by senior journalist Karan Thapar.

“Like all good things, this (Insurance Amendment Bill) will come to an end. I am hoping for a positive select Committee report. And I do hope to pass it this month,” Jaitley said.

The Winter Session of Parliament, during which the insurance bill is likely to be taken up for discussion and passage, will begin on November 24.

On why the Congress party was opposing its own insurance bill, Chidambaram said, “Perhaps the Congress party is doing tit for tat. It might not be the politically correct thing to do, but if they hung it up to dry for one year, may be some in the Congress party thought let them hang out to dry for four months.”

Recalling his meetings with BJP leader Sushma Swaraj and other leaders in December 2013, Chidambaram said, “I implored them…they said no. Finally they said BJP has no appetite to pass any Bills any more.”

The Former Finance Minister said that he would cheer from outside if the Bill was passed in the Winter Session.

The insurance bill is currently with the Select Committee of Parliament which is expected to give its report in third week of November.