Even as monsoon session of Parliament started today, acting finance minister Piyush Goyal has called for a meeting of all public sector insurance companies and GIC Re on Thursday to take stock of their performance.
This will be the first meeting of Goyal, who has undertaken similar frequent reviews of public sector banks in the last few weeks, with public sector general insurance companies
“Yes, we have called a meeting of all the public sector insurance companies . There will be lot issues that will be discussed in the meeting,’’ said ministry official.
A lot of issues like merger of three public sector general insurers, launching of National Health Protection Scheme(NHPS), and increasing the reach of various social security schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana(PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and review of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana(PMFBY) are expected to be the part of agenda of the Thursday meeting.
Though, the government has announced the merger of three companies-United Insurance Company , National Insurance Company and National Insurance Company, as a part of Budget 2018-19, and wanted to complete it during the current fiscal, there have no quick steps from the government to complete the exercise.
Rather, ministry of finance will appoint soon two new CMDs, who are having more two years of residual services,in UII and NIC.
A fortnight back, government had advertised for a consultant who will prepare the road map for the merger of the three companies.
The Ministry of Finance in its last meeting had also asked the Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) to increase the coverage of PMJJBY extensively among the masses.
In order to encourage eligible account holders to join the scheme at a later stage, MoF had allowed payment of pro-rata premium for enrolment under PMJJBY with the minimum premium of Rs 86/- for one quarter required to be paid even if a person enrolls under the scheme one or two months before the end of the policy year (i.e. if he enrolls in March, April or May).
“This was done with reference to the decisions taken in the meeting to review the performance of PMJJBY and PMSBY on 2nd May and further to that LIC’s letter dated 29th May on the subject.
This would encourage eligible and potential account holders to join PMJJBY at a later stage (those who are enrolling after August, 31st in any policy year -1st June to 31st May), said the government letter to the LIC.
Meanwhile, Debasish Panda, additional secretary,(Insurance & Financial Inclusion) has sought greater involvement of public sector insurers to implement three financial inclusion schemes under Extended Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (EGSA)
Describing the implementation slow, in a letter to the CMDs of public sector banks and insurance companies, Panda has said “The nominated officials of banks / Insurance companies may undertake their field visit to the districts with a view to guide the district officials and local level bank officials to achieve saturation under the FI schemes in these villages with coordination with all stakeholders including District authority, Gram Panchayat etc. They may highlight the lacuna in the action plan and suggest corrective measures to the Lead District Managers (LDMs) and also to the banks to achieve such saturation under the Fl schemes, in respect of reaching the target population [or account opening, enrolling under the insurance schemes, availability of Ft related posters, other local level public awareness creation, ensuring availability of banking touch points in these villages. ‘’