Home / Politics / News /  Parliament passes bill to privatise state-run general insurance companies

Amidst vociferous protests by the opposition parties, Parliament on Wednesday passed a bill to allow privatisation of state-run general insurance companies. The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, was passed by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman not replying to brief points raised by MPs.

It was passed by Lok Sabha on August 2.

The bill seeks to amend General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 to "provide for greater private participation in the public sector insurance companies".

It seeks to enhance insurance penetration and social protection and "better secure the interests of policyholders and contribute to faster growth of the economy".

The bill also seeks to remove proviso of the Act to remove the requirement that the Central Government holds not less than 51 per cent of the equity capital in a specified insurer.

Why the opposition parities are opposing it?

Opposition parties - including TMC, DMK, Left parties - opposed the bill and wanted it to be referred to a select committee, but the motion was rejected by a voice vote. They accused the government of not following parliamentary norms and "bulldozing" the legislation.

Protesting members of the opposition parties stormed at the well of the House and some of them were seen tearing papers and shouting slogans.

Rajya Sabha personnel were deployed around the presiding officer and the house table to prevent a repeat of Tuesday's ugly scenes when some MPs had climbed on the table.

The opposition has been protesting and forcing adjournments over various issues since the beginning of the monsoon session including demand for a probe into allegations of surveillance through Pegasus spyware.

(With inputs from agencies)

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