New Delhi: In a breakthrough achievement for government which is trying hard to push its stalled bills through the two Houses, the opposition Congress has agreed to support the passage of insurance bill in Rajya Sabha that offers to raise FDI cap from 26 to 49%.
According to the sources from both government and Congress, the two sides have reached an understanding which should lead to the early enactment of the Amended Insurance Bill.
On Wednesday, government succeeded in putting the two reforms legislation – the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, and the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015 in front of the two select committees.
Government also ensured that the two panels were well instructed to finish their job by March 18, a timeline which will give government enough window to get them passed through Parliament before it goes onto a month-long recess two days later.
There is also the option of the recess being put off by a day but the government is yet to take a call.
Another favorable condition for the government has developed in the fact that the select committee will be led by BJP members, Bhupendra yadav and Anil Madhav Dave.
The composition also appears to be suitable with sympathetic Independents like Rajiv Chandrashekhar and Parimal Natwani finding seats along with representatives of non-aligned parties.
Although parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu attributed the breakthrough to “cooperation” from the opposition parties, however, as published in a report by Times of India, certain sources have revealed that the progress was facilitated by diminishing resistance from regional parties like BJP, Trinamool, AIADMK, SP and BSP who occupy the non-aligned land.
While Trinamool and BJD favored early passage of coal mines bill; SP, BSP and JD (U) supported the idea of fixing timelines to the two select committees.
The Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill was adopted by Rajya Sabha and should sail through Lok Sabha, given BJP's majority.
Meanwhile, the land bill in Rajya Sabha still remains a concern for the government. In case of further resistance government has plans to re-promulgate the ordinance.
Some non-BJP parties also agreed that the government has full rights to do so, thus discouraging the plans to prorogue Parliament through any disruptions caused by the opposition parties.