Parliament on Wednesday approved a Bill for increasing the paid-up capital of the Life Insurance Corporation of India, after an amendment moved by CPI-M was rejected. BJP members remained in the House but did not vote.
The Bill was earlier passed in the Lok Sabha with the BJP siding with the Government.
The Government faced some tense moments when the CPI-M members Tapan Kumar Sen and Moinul Hassan pressed for a division. BJP member Prakash Javdekar did not press his amendments saying that he was satisfied with the replies of Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena.
Among the parties that voted against the Government were the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, both of whom extend outside support to the Government. Fifty-eight members voted against the amendment, while 28 favoured it.
The CPI-M was objecting to the reduction of the surplus from Life Insurance business to 90 per cent from 95 per cent for the policy holders. They wanted the 90 per cent surplus to be increased by an additional five per cent.
The LIC (Amendment) Bill seeks to bring the state-owned insurer at par with private players in the sector by increasing the paid-up capital of the LIC to Rs. 100 crore from the present level of Rs. five crore.
In his reply, Mr. Meena assured the members that the Government will continue to provide sovereign guarantee to the policies sold by LIC.
To a query, he said “some investments by the corporation were under investigation''.