INDIA - India's government has presented proposals in parliament that seek to give statutory power to the country's pension regulator, while omitting any mention of allowing foreign investment in the provision of old-age income.
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill 2011 aims to upgrade the status of the regulator which has been functioning as an interim body for seven years without parliamentary approval. Its powers will not change.
While the guidelines were originally put before lawmakers in March 2005 they were blocked by communist parties that opposed plans to appoint private pension fund managers to look after the savings of federal government employees who began work after January 2004.
A foreign investment policy for the pension sector will be handled separately from the bill presented today, according to a draft of the proposals.
While the 2005 blueprint didn't specify any restriction on overseas investment in pension provision, a parliamentary panel said the same year that foreign interests "should in no way be in variance" to those applicable to insurance sector.
The insurance bill, which was presented to parliament in December 2008, seeks that foreign investors can own as much as 49% of the capital in an Indian insurance company, up from the current 26%. The bill is pending in parliament.
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