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Insurance unions opposed to a role for private sector
Six trade union have decided to agitate against the government's decision. They claimed that the new move for providing better insurance cover and mobilising resources for infrastructural development sounded "hollow and meaningless."

'The opening of the insurance sector will send a powerful signal which will attract all kinds of investments'
'It is a growth-driven Budget, the impact of which will be felt not in the short term, but in the medium to long term,' argues Coopers & Lybrand chief J Rajagopal. 'The primary reason for this is that the main engine for growth is the infrastructure sector which, as you know, has a long gestation period.'

'The opening of the insurance sector does not necessarily exclude foreign participation by means of joint ventures with Indian companies'
'The battle is not yet lost, but it will remain an uphill battle and things like the bomb doesn't help. India must create an image in the international investor community as a safe, yet attractive long term investment,' says George Otto, Chief Representative, Allianz AG, a leading insurance company, commenting on the Budget.

'India can achieve 8 per cent growth'
George Otto, representative of one of the world's largest insurance company Allianz AG, on why foreign investors are now eyeing India, his expectations from the Budget and the sanctions.

Swadeshi may get the boot as BJP tries to open up insurance
Sanctions seems to be forcing the saffron coalition to discard its policy on the insurance sector. ''The nuclear test is the biggest shot in the arm for the hardcore swadeshi lobby,'' said a BJP leader, justifying the move. ''So that is enough to keep them happy."

Insurance employees to protest against opening up of sector
Insurance employees do not want LIC or GIC privatised, they do not want private insurance companies, and they certainly do not want foreign companies in the sector. They have claimed that competition will hurt their service to the rural poor, that that they are capable of meeting all the country's requirements.

'Allow banks to operate in badla market'
Making this plea in a pre-Budget memorandum to Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, the Federation of Indian Stock Exchanges has said that income tax benefits should be offered to encourage investment in stocks. The FISE is promoted by 18 stock exchanges in the country.

Open up insurance: CII
Urging the government to liberalise the life and general insurance market, the Confederation of Indian Industry has said that the Insurance Regulatory Authority bill should be reintroduced.