The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Govt promises to make insurance act simple

New Delhi, Oct. 16: The government today suggested to bring about a “comprehensive integrated law” for the insurance sector by replacing the existing law with an act.

“We need to replace the existing law by a simple act which might govern the insurance sector. Don’t complicate matters by bringing in too many amendments. Let us have a comprehensive integrated law,” said . S. Sisodia, secretary, banking and insurance, at the valedictory session of the 8th insurance conference organised by Ficci.

Referring to the problem of claim settlements, he said: “The track record of claim settlement is far from satisfactory and is a problem considered world over. We need to get transparency in the system and enhance the level of accountability. Only then we will be able to keep a check on unscrupulous players.”

Speaking at an earlier session, U. K. Sinha, joint secretary, department of economic affairs, said the Central Registration Authority will ensure that the fund managers of the pension products will not have to market their own products.

“The plan is to publish a net asset value (NAV) on a daily basis both in the print and electronic media. This will give the investor a choice to shift from one investment option to the other,” he added.

Sinha pointed that in theory mutual funds claim that they are portable, but in reality, they are both costly and time consuming. “But in pensions, it will not be in the hands of the fund managers. CRA will decide on portability.”

C. S. Rao, chairman of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), said, “Both the PFRDA and IRDA should work together in co-ordination to evolve a formula where the concerns of life insurance industry are taken care of adequately.”

Expressing concern over the reach and penetration of insurance companies in rural areas, he said, “The private players don’t have adequate manpower and management to reach rural areas. They could probably take the advantage of self-help groups to help them.”

Speaking on the issue of tax regime applied by the government on life insurance companies, . . Joshi, chief representative of ING Vysya Life Insurance company, said: “There needs to be some kind of consistency in the way government looks at life insurance premium for taxation purposes. Otherwise it will lead to an adverse perspective of the insurance industry.”

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