Government-BJP deal on FDI in insurance, pensions likely

With the United Progressive Alliance government keen to pass bills liberalising FDI in the insurance and pensions sectors to pull in much-desired but recalcitrant foreign investment, it may be close to striking a deal with the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition, on the issue, according to a report.

The government wants to hike the foreign direct investment limit in insurance to 49 per cent from the current 26 per cent. According to a CNN-IBN report, the two parties are close to striking an agreement in which there will be the rider that voting rights for the foreign entity be restricted to 26 per cent.

A deal is also likely on the Pension Bill, where the government is likely to agree to the BJP's demand for assured returns.

Weekend meetings held between finance minister P Chidambaram and BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Yashwant Sinha focussed on ending the logjam on key reform bills, according to the report.

The monsoon session of parliament may be extended to 4 September from the scheduled 30 August in order to ensure the passage of these bills, other reports said.