India Opens Insurance, Pension Programs to Foreign Operations

Economic reforms press on


India's federal cabinet Thursday approved proposals to further open up the insurance industry to foreigners and allow foreign pension managers into the country for the first time, signaling the government's intent to press ahead with economic overhauls despite intense political opposition.

The government will now have to seek parliament's approval, which could be difficult because of likely protests from the opposition as well as from its allies.

The proposals approved Thursday aim to allow up to 49% foreign direct ownership in insurance companies, up from the current 26%, said Federal Sports Minister Ajay Maken, who was present at the late-evening cabinet meeting.