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Cabinet takes ordinance route on insurance, coal

Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved key insurance and coal sector reforms which were held up due to a logjam in Parliament. It also liberalised foreign investment policy in the medical devices sector. A day after the conclusion of the Winter session of Parliament, the Cabinet approved promulgation of the Ordinance on Insurance Bill, re-promulgation of the Coal Ordinance and allowing up to 100 per cent FDI in medical devices in the pharmaceutical sector under the automatic route. 

Finance minister Arun Jaitley expressed the hope that hiking of the foreign investment cap in the insurance sector to 49 per cent, which has been pending since 2008, would result in capital inflow of $ 6-8 billion. “The Ordinance demonstrates the firm commitment and determination of this government to reforms. It also announces to the rest of the world including investors that this country can no longer wait even if one of the houses of Parliament waits indefinitely,” he said. The Insurance Laws Amendment Bill, 2008 could not be taken up for discussion in Parliament despite being approved by the Select Committee of the Upper House because of the conversion uproar.
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