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Economy Dec 12, 2012

FM rules out referring Banking Bill to Parl panel again

By Firstbiz Staff

The government has reached an agreement with the opposition for passing the banking amendment bill in parliament, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters on Wednesday.

He also ruled out the possibility of referring the Banking Bill for the second time to the Standing Committee on Finance for further scrutiny as has been demanded by opposition parties.

"No. There is only one clause and that is based on recommendation of Standing Committee on Food and Consumer Affairs. I have used Rule 80 (of Parliament procedures)," Chidambaram said when asked if there was a possibility of the Banking Bill being sent back to the House panel.

One of the three amendments was aimed at allowing banks to engage in proprietary trading in commodity futures. PTI

The government is seeking parliamentary approval for amendments aimed at attracting more foreign investment into the banking industry, in the latest move by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to open up Asia's third largest economy.

Meanwhile, PTI reported Finance Minister as saying that he had met the opposition leaders and is hopeful of getting five key reform bills passed in Parliament.

On Monday, the BJP, Left and Trinamool Congress stalled the passage of the banking regulations amendment arguing that the changes to the law were not vetted by a Parliamentary panel.

One of the three amendments was aimed at allowing banks to engage in proprietary trading in commodity futures.

Commodity futures trading in India is highly speculative and volatile and banks' entry into this has been opposed by the Reserve Bank of India as it believes the Forward Markets Commission (FMC), which regulates commodity futures, lacks autonomy and independence.

As per the procedure, the government is not allowed to make changes to the legislation without referring it back to the Parliamentary standing committee.

With inputs from agencies

by Firstbiz Staff

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