Insurance Regulatory Authority Bill

It has been a long pending thrust of foreign capital that it be permitted entry to the insurance business in India. In this country the insurance sector is one of the few which generate huge amounts of finance capital. This is what is of utmost interest for foreign and domestic capital. Small subscriptions from common people in a variety of branches of insurance ultimately amount to a huge accumulation of potential capital. Domestic industry and the market as a whole has enjoyed vital benefits out of this sector, and foreign capital has an envious eye on this. Domestic capitalists, have pressed hard in the name of 'privatisation' to have access to this sector and now they have to fight on the other front also i.e. against the entry of foreign capital. Domestic capital which now has a very weak basis, did its best to keep the foreign capital away. A lobby inside the R.S.S. organised under the banner of 'Swadeshi' opposed the entry of foreign capital in the insurance sector, tooth and nail. But ultimately the proposed tabling of the 'Bill' before Parliament shows that it could not succeed. Foreign capital has made headway through the 'Bill'. The tussle inside the ruling party among the supporters of domestic capital and collaborators' lobby goes on. That is why the proposed bill could not be tabled even on the last day of the session of Parliament and the Prime Minister had to take the pretext that the Bill was not ready in the press. Tabling of the 'Bill' seems to be no easy task. The Government is already under attack from the dominant 'Swadeshi' lobby within the RSS. The Cong. (I) has a dual stand on the issue. On the one hand they say in vague terms that they are opposed to the basic features of the Bill, while on the other they are criticising the Central government for the delay in tabling the Bill before the House. This is the attitude of the right and centre parties, while the left parties are critical of this Bill.

This Bill cannot be seen in isolation from the normal process of globalisation and its all embracing results in the affected economies. Rather it is to be seen as a furtherance of the process of globalisation and in fact as a new tool in its armoury. The purpose of the Bill is not regulation but 'deregulation' of this sector throwing it away to complete anarchy of the open market. The role of the state is going to be reduced to the minimum.

As the left parties have came out against the 'Bill', there ensues a debate as to whether the 'Bill' in itself, and the entire process of globalisation and resultant entry of private capital both foreign and domestic in those enterprises which have been monopoly of public sector is reactionary and retrogressive in nature?

Firstly, the bare fact is that the process of globalisation i.e. the all embracing advances of world financial capitalism is no longer an idea but the main and dominant feature of present day economy : which has virtually generated something worthy of the name world economy. The process of globalisation has already set in and has taken over roughly all national economies. Treaties like WTO are not merely agreements but are complete sets of laws pertaining to this new world economy. Therefore, the worth and relevances of this process of globalisation is self proven. In fact, globalisation is the only path left to modern capitalism. The process of centralisation of wealth, which under the situation of the old capitalism had been taking place at a comparatively slow pace and with narrow scope i.e. within the boundaries of national economies, has now been get out on a real world wide seals towards the global victory of Capital.

R.T

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