India approves new round of economic reforms

NEW DELHI -- India's finance minister says the Cabinet has endorsed higher levels of foreign investment in insurance and pension funds as part of a second wave of economic reforms in less than a month.

Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said Thursday the government also approved changes to laws governing competition and company structures.

Last month, the scandal-plagued government was praised by business leaders for allowing foreign retailing giants and reducing massive fuel subsidies. The reforms announced Thursday, however, need to be approved by Parliament. Support for the moves by lawmakers is questionable since the governing coalition controls only a minority of seats.