Lok Sabha passes General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021: All you need to know

The General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill aims at providing greater private participation in the public sector insurance companies as well as enhancing insurance penetration and social protection.

Created On: Aug 3, 2021 12:06 IST
Insurance Amendment Bill
Insurance Amendment Bill

Lok Sabha on August 2, 2021, passed the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021. The bill was passed amid the protests by the opposition over various issues including the demand for a probe into allegations of surveillance through Pegasus spyware.

The bill passed by the Lower House of Parliament aims at providing greater private participation in the public sector insurance companies as well as enhancing insurance penetration and social protection.

The Insurance Business Amendment Bill was introduced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha on July 30, 2021.

The minister had also announced in her budget speech that under the private agenda of the government, one general insurance company and two public sector banks will be taken up.

General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill: What do we know?

•  The bill seeks to amend the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 to provide greater participation in the public sector insurance companies.

•  The bill seeks at enhancing insurance penetration and social protection and better secure the interests of the policyholders. It also aims at contributing to the faster growth of the economy.

•  The amendment bill also seeks to remove the proviso of the Act to remove the requirement that the Central Government holds not less than 51% of the equity capital in a specified insurer.

Why there is opposition against the bill?

The latest bill, which was passed by the Lower House of Parliament without any discussion, has been protested upon by the opposition and West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra. A letter was also written to the Finance Minister, urging her not to privatize the public sector insurance companies.

The opposition showed concern as the bill seeks to remove the requirement that the Government should not hold less than 51% of equity capital, it also calls for greater private participation in public sector insurance companies.

The bill was termed as anti-people and anti-national legislation by the Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, who spoke briefly on the bill amid the protests in Lok Sabha.

However, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman refuted the charges by the opposition and said that the Central Government was not snatching any rights. She said that if the opposition is serious, they should sit down, debate, and ask questions.

Four major state-owned insurance companies are:

1. National Insurance Company Limited

2. New India Assurance Company Limited

3. Oriental Insurance Company Limited

4. United India Insurance Company Limited

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