Insurance sector rebounds over govt’s reforms : PM

SAARC Ins regulators’ meet begins

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Saturday said the country’s insurance sector rebounded following reforms undertaken by the insurance regulator.

“The Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) has reformed the country’s insurance sector and as a result of these steps the industry has rebounded and started earning confidence of the people,” she said.

She was speaking at the inaugural session of the First SAARC Insurance Regulators’ Conference at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city.

She, however, urged the insurance authority to remain vigilant to make sure the insurers settle claims timely and invest the hard-earned money of the common people in a proper way.

“Insurers are the custodians (trustee) of the people’s hard-earned money, the authority must be careful about whether the insurers settle claims whenever it arises and invest the money in a proper way.”

Bangladesh’s insurance regulator, IDRA, organised the two-day event in cooperation with the Federation of State Organisations of SAARC Countries.

The theme of the first event is: The Way Forward in the Wake of Global Reality.

IDRA Chairman M Shefaque Ahmed presided over the inaugural session while Finance Minister AMA Muhith attended it as special guest.

SAARC Secretariat Director Ibrahim Ghafoori spoke on behalf of SAARC Secretary General Ahmad Saleem.

Convenor and member secretary of the conference organising committee Md Fazlul Karim and ABM Nurul Haque respectively also spoke on the occasion.

The Prime Minister said insurance should not be confined to trade and business. “It can help in eradicating poverty efficiently.”

The Prime Minister said crop insurance for the deprived farmers and health and micro insurance for the underprivileged people should also see the light of the day.

She gave assurance that her government would provide necessary support to this end.

She said nearly 1.63 billion people live in South Asia. The insurance authorities in the SAARC member nations could be benefited by exchanging their experiences and knowledge at the conference, she added.

“The insurance industry is an area which can play a very important role in attaining development goals through mutual cooperation and knowledge sharing ,” she pointed out.

Each country under the SAARC is trying to improve the condition of the poor people in their own ways. “I believe cooperation among the SAARC countries can help change the scenario to this end,” she added.

She emphasised better training and a strong regulatory system to make the insurance industry durable and profitable.

She said the nations that have vibrant insurance sectors definitely belong to vibrant economies.

She said the relation between the insurance and her family was very old and her government had been trying to develop the sector for long.

She said her government repealed the old insurance act of 1938 and passed the new Insurance Act 2010 to make the sector vibrant.

The government also established a more powerful regulatory body-IDRA-dissolving the office of the Chief Controller of Insurance.

Bangladesh is now a role model in terms of social and human resource development and is considered as one of the star performers in alleviating poverty, she told the conference.

Nearly 50 million people were elevated to the level of middle class from below the poverty line during the last four years, she added.

She said the recommendations should be placed before the government so that the government might consider implementation of those for the sake of development of the insurance sector.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said there are many potential areas in the insurance sector.

“Reinsurance, health insurance, micro insurance are the most potential of them in the country,” he added.

The finance minister said the seminar would help exchange new ideas in the sector.

Source: Financial Express