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Jaitley says opposition obstructing passage of Insurance Bill

With just two days left for the winter session to end, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley criticised the opposition on Saturday and said the government will not allow ‘obstructionism’ by parties like the Congress, Trinamool, and the Left to stop the insurance Bill from getting passed.

“The government is extremely determined to go ahead with this reform and will not allow a Parliamentary disturbance to obstruct or delay a reform of this kind,” he said while addressing the annual general meeting of industry body FICCI.

At the end of a week long uproar in Parliament over the issue of religious conversion, the government finally managed to table the long pending Constitutional Amendment to GST Bill in Lok Sabha. 

The Insurance Bill, which will raise the foreign investment cap in the sector to 49% from 26%, was scheduled to be tabled in Rajya Sabha last Tuesday, but hasn’t been so far.

Jaitley singled out Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, and without actually naming it, said that the political party, whose members are allegedly involved in chit fund scam, is trying to divert the attention by creating obstruction in the functioning of Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have a majority of its own.

“Political obstructionism is being used to ensure it (Insurance Bill) does not come on the agenda of Parliament,” he said but added that “there are enough constitutional safeguards, and the constitutional system can deal with and effectively defeat this policy of political obstructions.”

Jaitley said that coal sector reform was another important agenda that the new government was pursuing, but was “held back because of political obstructionism”.

The Finance Minister also said that if all the political parties buried their differences on key reform measures, India could achieve growth rates of 9-10%.

“The clear choice before us is, either we reform or we miss the bus once again. An entire generation won’t forgive us if we miss the bus,” he said.

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