Opposition slams FDI move in insurance, pension
New Delhi: The opposition parties Thursday were quick to denounce the government for amending policies on FDI in insurance and pension sectors, with former UPA ally Trinamool Congress calling for the “ouster” of the Dr Manmohan Singh government, while the BJP was measured in its reaction to the move.
Within minutes of the central cabinet giving its nod to bring in legislative changes to boost foreign investment in the two key sectors, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee called for a no-confidence motion to oust the Congress-led central government.
“The minority government cannot play such an immoral role. Let us move a no-confidence motion. We have decided to meet the president with an appeal to oust the UPA-II minority government,” posted Banerjee on her Facebook page.
The union cabinet, with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh chairing it, earlier in the evening cleared the legislative changes that will allow up to 49 percent foreign equity in pension sector and hike such limit in insurance to 49 percent from 26 percent.
It also gave its nod for some crucial changes in the Companies Act in what is being called another major push to economic reforms in less than a month. All these proposals, however, need parliament’s approval to take effect.
Stating that the government had crossed all ‘Laxman Rekhas’, Banerjee said these decisions, taken by a minority government are immoral and unethical and would have a direct bearing on the livelihood of millions of Indians.
“(The government decisions) will make lifelong savings of individuals totally insecure. Is it the intention of the UPA government to sell out the country? We should unitedly oppose all such moves and will not allow the government to be bailed out after a series of such anti-people decisions,” Banerjee stated.
Banerjee also appealed to those supporting the UPA to come out and oppose these moves in the greater interest of the people.
“Sarkar jaana jaroori hai, desh ko bachane ke liye (the government should go in order to save the nation),” she said.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prakash Javadekar was cautious in his reaction to the government move.
He said the BJP had caveats on the government’s moves concerning overseas investment in pension and insurance sectors and will spell out its final stance after seeing the fineprint.
There has to be “sovereign guarantee” provisions in the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, he said, adding that “we support the FDI concept, but have caveats”.
“Unless we see the fineprint, we cannot give a final comment,” Javadekar said.
Communist Party of India’s D. Raja called the move as a “gamble” on people’s lifelong savings.
His party’s leader in Lok Sabha Gurudas Dasgupta said the government “has no right to play with people’s hard earned money”.
Trinamool Congress’ former central minister Saugata Roy said the UPA government’s decisions could not be supported even by parties that were at present extending outside support.
“We will oppose these decisions tooth and nail in every parliamentary fora possible. The government has taken the decision to please the foreign powers,” he said.