On his recent visit to North America, Chidambaram promised more reforms, in a bid to sell the India story to foreign investors. With the government now in the docks over the Coalgate Scam, it's unlikely that Chidambaram would be able to meet his promises made to foreign and Indian investors alike. Take a look at why?
Insurance Amendment Bill
In early April, Finance Minister P Chidamabaram expressed Optimism that the Insurance Amendment Bill, which seeks to raise FDI cap in the sector to 49 percent, will be passed. One was not sure on what basis he made the commitment, given that parliament has not functioned at all. It looks unlikely that the Bill will be passed even in the Winter Session. Of course, the UPA II government has to survive until then.
Pension Amendment Bill
"I sincerely hope that we can pass the Insurance Amendment Bill on which the difference only on one clause and once the Insurance Bill passes everybody's broadly agrees that the Pension Bill will follow," Chidambaram had said earlier this month. Like the Insurance Bill, the Pension Bill is also unlikely to be passed given the impasse in parliament. This means that increasing the FDI limit in Insurance sector is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
Goods and Services Tax
A landmark reform, the Goods and Services Tax was one of the most urgently needed tax reforms. One must admit that Chidambaram has done his utmost even meeting with Chief Minister's of the States to agree on revenue sharing, but, like other bills this is also unlikely to see the light of day. Some of the Chief Ministers of the State are not too happy with the revenue sharing. Can't blame Chidambaram for this one.
Land Reforms Bill
On the Land Reforms Bill, the government did manage a consensus with other political parties. But, with parliament not functioning, how can one get the Bill approved by our lawmakers. The Land Reforms Bill would have made land acquisition easier and given fair land rates to farmers and also helped industrialisation.
Due credit to Chidambaram
One can't blame Chidambaram for the above Bills not being pushed. In fact, one must give credit to the Finance Minister for trying to push many of these Bills. But, given that his government is neck deep in corruption allegations and demands are now being made for the resignation of the Prime Minister, it's unlikely that Parliament will function to pass these bills. Until then, goodbye to reforms.