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Insurance Bill cleared

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, July 31

THE Union Cabinet today approved the introduction of the Insurance Amendment Bill 2001 which seeks to allow cooperative societies into the insurance business besides allowing brokers to become insurance intermediaries. The Bill will be introduced during the current session of Parliament.

At present, only registered insurance companies can enter the insurance business. On the brokerage front, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) will make regulations specifying payment of commissions, acccording to officials.

The Cabinet also approved delegation of authority to Ministers of administrative ministries to approve roll-back of retirement age of all levels of Central public sector undertaking employees from 60 years to 58. Also, in cases of PSUs where the retireme nt age has been pegged at 58 years, the cut off age for board-level recruitment has been set as 56 to enable a minimum appointment period of two years.

Sometime back, the Government had raised the retirement age from 58 to 60 years. Later, in a few cases, the Cabinet decided to bring down the age from 60 years to 58 years. Following this, the Cabinet decided to delegate the powers to reduce the employme nt age from 60 to 58 years in the case of sick units. The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Pramod Mahajan, said today's move was a step further in this direction.

The Cabinet also approved the pursuance of the 91st Constitution Amendment Bill, 2000 in Parliament. The amendment seeks to freeze the total number of elected seats in Parliament up to 2025. This follows the examination of the recommendations of the Stan ding Committee of Parliament by the administrative ministries, according to officials.

The Cabinet also approved the moving of a resolution by the Railways Minister in both Houses to seek Parliament's acceptance of certain recommendations of the second report of the Railway Convention Committee.

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