Subsidy for crop insurance needed for food security

Expert tells PABL-FE roundtable

FE Report | Published: August 01, 2019 10:58:34

Planning Minister MA Mannan (centre) speaking at a roundtable on 'Budget for fiscal year 2019-20: Insurance industry's expectations and outcome’ at a city hotel on Wednesday. Professional Advancement Bangladesh Limited Chairman Nasir A Choudhury (2nd, right), The Financial Express Editor Shah Husain Imam (extreme right), Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority member Dr Mosharraf Hossain (2nd, left) and MD and CEO of Green Delta Insurance Company Farzanah Chowdhury were also present — FE Photo

Subsidy is required to successfully implement crop insurance system in the country, Dr Shameem Hassan Bhuiyan, a crop insurance expert, told a roundtable at a city hotel on Wednesday.

"Crop insurance is not profitable in any part of the world, and for this reason it needs subsidy," he said at the discussion on the expectation and attainment in the national budget for the insurance industry.

Such type of subsidy is needed at least from the perspective (of ensuring) food security, he opined.

"Meteorological, hydrological and other required data are available now, and (on the basis of those) crop insurance products can be designed for the country's haor areas," said Dr Bhuiyan, also a hydro meteorologist.

The Professional Advancement Bangladesh Limited (PABL), a subsidiary of the Green Delta Insurance Company Limited (GDICL), and The Financial Express (FE) jointly organised the roundtable held on the day.

Planning Minister M A Mannan joined the programme as the chief guest, while the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) Member Dr M Mosharraf Hossain was the special guest.

The GDICL Managing Director (MD) and CEO Farzanah Chowdhury was the moderator of the roundtable.

Shah Husain Imam, Editor of the FE, Nasir A Choudhury, Chairman of the PABL, and Sheikh Rezaul Karim, Executive Director of the IDRA, spoke in the programme, among others.

Joydeep K Roy, partner at the PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt Ltd (PWC), presented a keynote paper on the occasion.

Speaking at the programme, P K Roy, MD of the Rupali Insurance Company Limited, said the insurance sector has attained nothing in the budget.

There are many areas in the sector, where double taxation exists. Besides, gain tax on bonus at the rate of 5.0 per cent, even for micro insurance, is hurting the sector.

Contradicting these opinions, the IDRA Member Mosharraf Hossain said that the insurance sector has gained much in the budget.

The sector could have gained more, if there was a pre-consultation meeting with the stakeholders concerned.

There is need for (offering) bundle products for effectively implementing crop insurance scheme, he added.

The FE Editor Shah Husain Imam said the insurance sector and the FE have a natural alliance.

Products for crop insurance and expatriates are necessary to raise insurance penetration in the country.

Jamal Naser, MD of the National Life Insurance Company Limited, Md Hemayet Ullah, MD and CEO of the Fareast Islami Life Insurance Company Limited, and Md Imam Shaheen, CEO of the Asia Insurance Company Limited, also spoke at the function, among others.


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