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Bill to Allow 74% FDI in Insurance Sector Introduced in Rajya Sabha

In Lok Sabha, the Mines and Mineral Development Act was introduced.
Bill to Allow 74% FDI in Insurance Sector Introduced in Rajya Sabha

Image Courtesy: New Indian Express

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday introduced a Bill in Rajya Sabha that seeks to amend the Insurance Act to pave the way for 74% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday had gave its nod for amendments in the Insurance Amendment Bill 2021.

Finance Minister Sitharaman introduced the Bill for amendments in the Insurance Act, 1938.

Currently, the permissible FDI limit in the life and general insurance stands at 49% with ownership and management control with Indian.

Under the new structure, the majority of directors on the board and key management persons would be resident Indians, with at least 50% of directors being independent directors, and specified percentage of profits being retained as a general reserve.

Sitharaman said that for investor protection, an investor charter would be introduced as a right of all financial investors across all financial products.

It was in 2015 when the government hiked the FDI cap in the insurance sector from 26% to 49%.

The government has earlier allowed 100% FDI  in insurance intermediaries. Intermediary services include insurance brokers, reinsurance brokers, insurance consultants, corporate agents, third party administrators, surveyors and loss assessors.

Bill to pave way for private players in mining exploration tabled

Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi on Monday introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

The amendments proposed in the Bill are aimed at bringing “mega reforms” in the mines sector with resolution of legacy issues, and making a large number of mines available for auctions.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor opposed the introduction of the Bill, saying he has three objections. 

The Bill fails to acknowledge the adverse impact on environment and bio-diversity, it is a threat on lives of people residing close to the mines, and also impinges on the federal structure of the states, Tharoor said.

 Joshi said the regulation of mines, mineral development is under the control of central government as per the Constitution.

The ‘reforms’ as part of the Bill include removing the distinction between captive and non-captive mines and introduction of an index-based mechanism by developing a National Mineral Index for various statutory payments, among others.

In order to boost exploration, there will be review of functioning of the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET). NMET will be made an autonomous body.

Private entities will also be engaged in exploration works now. Simplification of exploration regime will also be done to facilitate seamless transition from exploration to production.

Bill to define Delhi LG role, powers in Lok Sabha

With the objective of giving a proper "interpretation" of a Supreme Court ruling, the government on Monday introduced a Bill in Lok Sabha that seeks to define certain role and powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy introduced the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

According to proposed amendments, Section 21 of the Act -- dealing with restrictions on laws passed by legislative assembly with respect to certain matters -- is sought to be revised to clarify that the expression 'government' referred to in any law to be made by the legislative assembly shall mean the 'Lieutenant Governor'. A sub-section shall be inserted to this effect in Section 21.

In section 24 of the principal Act -- which requires a Bill passed by the Delhi legislative assembly to be presented to the LG who may assent, withhold or reserve it for consideration of the President -- an additional clause will be inserted to cover any of the matters that fall outside the purview of the powers conferred on the legislative assembly.

In Section 33 of the principal Act, in sub-section (1) after the words "conduct of its business", the words "which shall not be inconsistent with the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in House of People" shall be inserted.

The government said it wanted to clarify the expression "Government", which in the context of legislations to be passed by the Delhi assembly, shall mean the LG of Delhi, consistent with the status of Delhi as a Union Territory to address the ambiguities in the interpretation of the legislative provisions.

It further seeks to ensure that the LG is necessarily granted an opportunity to exercise the power entrusted to him under proviso to clause (4) of article 239AA of the Constitution, in select category of cases and also to make rules in matters which incidentally encroach upon matters falling outside the preview of the assembly.

Marine Aids to Navigation Bill in Lok Sabha

With technological changes taking place at a fast pace in marine navigation, a Bill to provide for a fresh framework to establish and manage vessel traffic services was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021 provides for the use of the term “marine aids to navigation” instead of “lighthouse” to enable further use of modern forms of aids to navigation, according to the Bill.

The Bill, moved by Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya, also seeks to rename the existing Director General of Lighthouse and Lightships as the Director General to provide a framework for establishment, operation and management of vessel traffic services.

According to the statement of objects and reasons of the Bill, the government also plans to repeal the Lighthouse Act, 1927 once the present Bill becomes a law.

Bill on National Importance to 6 pharma institutes

Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Monday introduced a Bill in Lok Sabha that seeks to provide the national importance tag to six pharmaceutical education and research institutes in the country.

The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2021 provides for granting the status of nation importance to the six institutes in Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Rae Bareli.

 "A need is felt to bring clarity that the six institutes so established as well as any other similar institute to be established under the said Act shall be institutes of national importance," the statement of objects and reasons regarding the Bill said.

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