Indian Parliament
A view of the parliament building, New Delhi.Reuters

The all-party meeting convened on Monday, 4 August, failed to work out a consensus on the controversial Insurance Bill, enabling the Union government to allow 49 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) into the insurance sector.

The meeting was attended by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

"The meeting remained inconclusive. We have agreed to meet again in the next two days to arrive at a consensus on the possible formulation of the legislation," PTI quoted Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel.

The brief meeting was held in Parliament House in the morning, as an initiative to take the opposition leaders into confidence over the Bill. The Union Cabinet has cleared the Bill recently and NCP and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) have also supported it.

The all-party meeting was convened in the backdrop of nine opposition parties asking the Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to refer the Bill to a Select Committee. Congress, CPI-M, CPI, SP, BSP, DMK, JD (U), Trinamool Congress and RJD have submitted a notice to the Rajya Sabha Chairman for the same.

Since the government does not have majority in Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament, the all-party meet was necessitated to seek their support to move the Bill, the government's first major economic reforms legislation.

Naidu on Sunday had said that Jaitley and he will talk to the opposition parties on various aspects of the Bill, aimed to raise the present limit of 26 per cent FDI to 49 per cent in the country's insurance sector.

"I fervently appeal to Congress and other opposition parties to enable passing the proposed legislation for enabling 49 per cent foreign investment in insurance sector, in this Budget Session of Parliament in the larger national interest. Spirit of constructive cooperation on issues of economic development needed to be the basis of parliamentary democracy," Naidu said.

The Bill seeks the much needed capital inflows into the country's insurance sector as inadequate investments have adversely affected the penetration of insurance coverage in India.