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FM likely to push for key financial bills
November, 05th 2009

The Parliament is reassembling this month and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to push some of the key financial legislations namely, cutting government stake in State Bank of India and giving regulatory teeth to the pension fund regulator.

Pranab Mukherjee, will easily be the most busy minister once the Parliament's winter session commences, as there is every possibility that the minister will try to push a number of key financial bills.

Topping the list is SBI's Amendment Bill, for which the finance ministry has already taken Cabinet approval.

Through this bill the government proposes to reduce its stake in SBI to 51 per cent. This will create an enabling provision allowing SBI to raise additional resources from the equity market.

The Pension Bill is the next in line with the Cabinet likely to give its approval very soon.

This will give regulatory teeth to the PFRDA, which has been functioning under an executive order since 2004.

The Banking Regulation Amendment Bill, which proposes to remove the cap on voting rights in banks, is also on fast track, except that the finance ministry seeks an exemption from the Competition Commission on this Bill for the banking sector.

But in case the exemption is granted, the finance ministry will include this in the Banking Regulation Act.

However, all said and done, its the forward movement on the Insurance Bill that industry and the investor community at large are waiting for.

When asked on the status Mukherjee struck a politically cautious note. "Will have to build consensus within the coalition. Also its not enough to just have the right intentions, he said.

Although Mukherjee may not stick his neck out despite the absence of left parties in the UPA coalition, he knows his best efforts will have to pass the political muster in the Parliament.

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