BJP on Friday questioned the “legal and political intentions” behind allowing 49 per cent FDI in the insurance sector but remained non-committal about its stand in Parliament when the Bill regarding the economic reform comes up for passage.
“We have made it very clear that we are against FDI in multi-brand retail. As for yesterday’s cabinet decision, the Standing Committee on Finance had opposed more than 26 per cent FDI in insurance. BJP is opposed to the government’s views,” party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters.
Asked what BJP’s stand will be when the insurance bill comes up in Parliament, he said “we said FDI should be 26 per cent. There is a question mark on the legal and political intentions behind this move of the government.”
After opposing FDI in multi-brand retail, BJP is concerned that it may be creating the impression of being anti-reforms. Since BJP-led NDA, when it was in power, had taken the initiative to allow FDI in insurance and pensions, a section in the party feels it should not oppose it now.
However, Mr. Naqvi evaded all questions on what BJP’s stand will be in Parliament on these issues.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said the government will reach out to the principal opposition to win its support.
Meanwhile, BJP continued its attack against Thursday’s cabinet decision. “We are not against FDI but against foreign direct interference. This government is against the welfare of the country and is more worried about foreign interests,” Mr. Naqvi charged.
He alleged the government is looking at FDI in multi-brand retail as the only viable option of bringing in foreign funds.
But BJP indicated that though it will not bring a no-confidence motion against the UPA government, it may support TMC if Mamata Banerjee carries out her threat of making such a move in protest against FDI in retail, insurance and pensions sectors.