PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, 6 December
The government will make all efforts to pass the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, minister of state for finance Mr JD Seelam said today.
“We are trying to push (for passage of the Insurance Bill in the current session). Let us see,” he said at an event on Investing in Multiple Financial Products ~ Optimising Returns & Minimising Risks, organised by Assocham here. The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008 provides for an increase in foreign investment limit from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.
However, the standing committee on finance headed by senior BJP leader Mr Yashwant Sinha is not in favour of the hike in FDI ceiling, indicating wide opposition to the proposal.
Mr Seelam also said the government in association with the industry can make India an investor-friendly country. “We can in association with industry make India investor friendly. The products (financial) ought to be safe, transparent and it should be attractive… and to have a competent infrastructure. We are trying to improve the availability of finances,” he said.
He also said that the savings rate in India is ‘pretty good’ and it should be used for circulation as it triggers growth. “I think investment base needs to be increased by special design and instruments and then by specific products. Savings should be used for circulation because it triggers growth. We must have a proper regulatory and redressal mechanism so that people will find a worthy credit system.”
Referring to the economic situation, the minister said the economy is now looking up due to strong fundamentals and that the current account deficit (CAD) would be within the prescribed limit.“CAD will be definitely within the expected $60 billion which is easily funded. Fiscal deficit would also be well below the red line drawn by the finance minister,” Mr Seelam added.
However, he said inflation needs to be moderated and supply side bottlenecks cleared.
“Inflation of course, we need to moderate that. Thanks to the good monsoon, the food inflation should be contained after improving the supply chain because consumables like milk, eggs, vegetables and fruits are still showing up high inflation rate,” he added.
Retail or consumer price index (CPI) based inflation rose to 10.09 per cent in October due to costlier vegetables such as onion and tomatoes and fruit prices as compared to 9.52 per cent in September.