New Delhi, August 12: The controversial Insurance Bill is likely to be referred to the Select Committee of Parliament in a day or two amid receding hopes in the government over convincing the Opposition on supporting its first major economic reform initiative. The bill, which proposes hike in FDI in the insurance sector to 49 per cent, has been caught in a logjam with Congress-led Opposition insisting on referring it to a Select Committee.

Government sources said a decision has been taken to refer the bill to the Select Committee and an announcement could be made in Parliament tomorrow or the day after, the last day of the current session. The sources noted that the Opposition is steadfastly refusing to come on board on supporting the bill, forcing the government to take this decision. The government is confident of getting the bill passed in the Lok Sabha but is wary about Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA has few numbers.

The government has so far not listed the Bill strategically as it is still in consultations with parties for support. To elicit Opposition support, the government has made it clear that it is amenable to amendments in the Bill. Congress, which had supported a hike in FDI cap when it was in power, now wants the bill to be referred to a Parliamentary Select Committee for threadbare examination of the issue since the government has brought some amendments.