Pension Bill deferred following Trinamool’s Opposition

TNI Bureau: The pension bill was once again deferred on Thursday after Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress opposed to the legislation. The Bill, which has been stalled for years, was expected to be discussed by the Cabinet today.

The cabinet today deferred the bill without giving proper explanation. Railways Minister Mukul Roy, who belongs to the TMC, said that his stand has been conveyed to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee via letter.

He made it clear that his party wants more political consultations before the bill gets approved.

The Pension Bill has been seen as a long pending legislation, which could help boost the FDI in India. The BJP made it clear that the party will support the Bill in the Parliament if the FDI is limited at 26%. However, the repeated clashes with Mamata Banerjee have forced the government to defer the bill, the FDI in retail and other important policy decisions.

The Union Cabinet is aiming to clear three amendments to the Bill: to allow a contributor to the pension scheme to withdraw funds in case of an emergency; to give subscribers a minimum assured return on investment and to provide a cap of 26% on foreign direct investment in the scheme.

The Bill, also called the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, will allow pension funds the flexibility to appoint a professional fund management company. Currently, these savings are invested in government securities that offer a fixed rate of return. The changes will affect how savings of nearly 25 lakh Indians are invested.

Under the National Pension System (NPS), the Bill also proposes that every subscriber will have an individual pension account, which he can port with a job change. All the government employees hired since 2004 are coming under NPS.

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