Select panel on Insurance Bill holds first meet

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The select committee of Parliament on the controversial Insurance Bill held its first meeting today and decided to call stakeholders, including officials, firms and trade unions, before firming up its report on the much-awaited reform measure.

The decision to finalise the name of stakeholders on the basis of representation received by the committee would be finalised in its next meeting scheduled on September 12.

Earlier last month, bowing to opposition pressure, the government had agreed to refer the controversial Insurance Bill to the 15-member panel.

The bill, which proposes to hike the FDI limit in the insurance sector to 49 per cent, has been caught in a logjam with the Congress-led opposition insisting that it be referred to a select committee.

"We will try to submit our report on the Insurance Bill by the third week of November," Select Committee Chairman Chandan Mitra told reporters.

Mitra, also a noted journalist, said that it was decided in the first meeting of the committee that members would meet all stakeholders related to the insurance sector.

"The committee would choose the people for discussion on the insurance bill on the basis of representations it received from various bodies," a source said.

He also said that the panel would meet on September 19 and 26 to expedite firming up report on the bill.

The members will also visit Mumbai and Chennai to meet stakeholders to understand and record their views on the Bill.

According to sources, except Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party, all members attended the first meeting of the select committee on insurance today.

The members of the committee are Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Jagat Prakash Nadda (all BJP), Anand Sharma, B K Hariprasad and JD Seelam (all Cong), Satish Chandra Misra (BSP), K C Tyagi (JD-U), Derek O'Brien (TMC), V Maitreyan (AIADMK), Naresh Gujral (SAD), Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Kalpataru Das (BJD), P Rajiv (CPI-M) and Rajiv Chandrasekhar (Ind).

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