Finance ministry proposes 49 per cent FDI in insurance, pension sectors

The finance ministry has approved a proposal to allow 49 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance and pension sector against the current 26 per cent FDI ceiling in this sector.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011, earlier floated in May 2012, when Pranab Mukherjee was the finance minister, was sent to the cabinet for approval, but a decision was deferred.

With P Chidambaram taking charge as finance minister, the two bills have received a fresh lease of life and the ministry has now set the FDI limit at 49 per cent.

It is not known whether the cabinet will take up the two bills with the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee strongly opposing the move.

Once the cabinet clears the two Bills, they would be introduced in the Parliament during the winter session.

The ministry also approved 49 per cent FDI in pension funds, a provision added in the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, 2008. The Bill provides for the establishment of a statutory authority to undertake promotional, developmental and regulatory functions in respect to pension funds.