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Budget Expectations Of General Insurance Industry

Investors must feel assured that there is certainty in tax and business laws so that they know in advance what they are getting into

Photo Credit : AP

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Overall business environment and reducing blockages
While the government is putting a lot of effort in removing blockages with a host of announcements, so that companies can move with speed, execution continues to remain a challenge. The bureaucracy must also get their act together and speed up the process of execution. The government must devolve more powers to the bureaucrats and encourage them to take quicker decisions so that the ease of doing business in India becomes a reality. A case in point in the general insurance sector is the insurance schemes supported by the government. These schemes are extremely laudable. However, to make the scheme more attractive, the government must ensure much faster transmission of the premiums to the insurers.

FDI policy in insurance sector
Quite clearly there is interest in the general insurance sector as well as the reinsurance sector. India must develop into an attractive market for reinsurers and the liberalisation in the FDI policy will go a long way in this process.

Penetration of insurance sector in India still being very low.
One of the reasons for low penetration of the insurance sector is the lack of awareness of the benefits of taking insurance. Natural calamities cannot be the advertisement for buying insurance. The price individuals and families are paying during these calamities are extremely severe. For a small premium individuals / families can protect their livelihood, homes, health etc. For this the government, the industry and the regulator must commence campaigns encouraging people to be protected (insured). We have seen how sustained campaigns have helped in eradicating polio. Once people are aware and have insured themselves everyone benefits – insurance companies, families and the government. Insurance companies can invest these premiums in the infrastructure /housing sectors which need capital for longer durations, which cannot ideally be serviced by the banking industry.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Miranjit Mukherjee

The author is Chief Financial Officer atTata AIG General Insurance Co Ltd

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