'The Ordinance demonstrates the firm commitment and determination of this government to reforms:' Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
The Union Cabinet today approved key insurance and coal sector reforms which were stuck due to the Parliament logjam and also opened medical devices sector to foreign investment.
After the conclusion of the Winter session of Parliament, the Union Cabinet approved promulgation of the Ordinance on Insurance Bill, re-promulgation of the Coal Ordinance and allowing 100% FDI in medical devices in the pharmaceutical sector.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed hope that hiking of the foreign investment cap in the insurance sector to 49%, which has been pending since 2008, will result in capital inflow of US$ 6-8 billion.
“The Ordinance demonstrates the firm commitment and determination of this government to reforms. It also announces to the rest of the world including investors that this country can no longer wait even if one of the houses of Parliament waits indefinitely to take up its agenda,” Jaitley said.
The Insurance Laws Amendment Bill, 2008 could not be taken up for discussion despite being approved by the Select Committee of the Upper House because of the uproar over the conversion and other issues.
The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2014 has already been approved by the Lok Sabha during the session but could make no progress in the upper House.
The government promulgated the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2014, in October to facilitate coal block auctions after the Supreme Court cancelled 204 coal blocks in September.