Even as Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is meeting Opposition leaders on Saturday for discussions pertaining to issues, including the Insurance and Pension Bills, the Insurance Amendment Bill that will allow foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 49 per cent in the sector, is in all likelihood to be passed in Parliament as the ruling UPA and Opposition have narrowed down their differences on the issue.

On Thursday, the Cabinet hiked the FDI cap on insurance to 49 per cent through the automatic approval route subject to approval by Parliament.

The Insurance Bill has been pending in the Rajya Sabha since 2008.

“In all likelihood, the BJP will support the government in the passage of the Insurance Bill. There is broad consensus within the party that the bill should not be blocked any further,” a senior BJP member of the Standing Committee on Finance said on the condition of anonymity.

Food Security Bill

During the debate on the Food Security Bill, the BJP would focus on highlighting the fact that the Chhattisgarh model of food distribution to the poor was the best one and had worked successfully, he said. “BJP speakers would highlight the successful Chhattisgarh ‘food for poor’ model and take credit for the fact that the Central legislation was based on the original idea of the Raman Singh-led BJP government,” he added.

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