Professional Advancement Bangladesh Limited (PABL), a subsidiary of Green Delta Insurance Company, in association with The Financial Express, organised a roundtable discussion titled "Roundtable Discussion on Insurance Industry's Expectations and Attainments in the Budget 2019-2020" in the city on July 31, 2019.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Pvt Ltd presented a paper on the expectations and gains of the insurance industry from the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the roundtable session.
MA Mannan, planning minister of the government of Bangladesh, was present at the event as the chief guest and Dr Mosharraf Hossain, member of IDRA, attended it as special guest.
Moderated by Farzanah Chowdhury, chartered insurer, MD & CEO of Green Delta Insurance, the roundtable was also attended by a number of renowned professionals and high officials from the insurance industry, regulatory bodies and government agencies.
Mr Muhammad Abdul Mannan, MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Planning, Govt. of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
The Planning Minister said that the Government has decided to launch crop insurance for certain disaster prone areas of Bangladesh. He shared that the Government has also planned to bring all the people under the health insurance safety net program. Government is also taking steps to develop the insurance sector of Bangladesh through making policies for the expansion of insurance in Bangladesh.
Farzanah Chowdhury, Chartered Insurer, MD & CEO, Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd. and Director, Professional Advancement Bangladesh Ltd.
Ms. Farzanah Chowdhury moderated the session. She shared how insurance sector can contribute to increase GDP growth rate if existing VAT & tax issues are modified for the greater interest of the insurance and policyholders. She also expressed her opinion to modify the MRA act and all types of insurance policies should be managed by insurance company who has license from IDRA.
Mr Shah Husain Imam, Editor, The Financial Express
The editor said the insurance sector and the FE have a natural alliance. Products for farmers and expatriates are necessary to raise insurance penetration in the country.
Mr Nasir A. Chowdhury, Adviser, GDIC and Chairman, PABL
Mr Nasir A. Chowdhury shared his experiences about how the country's insurance industry has developed over the years.
This industry has a bright prospect to grow further, he said praising the role of IDRA and the government in the development of the sector.
Dr Mosharraf Hossain, Member, Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA)
Dr Mosharraf Hossain said 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 a need for (offering) bundle products for effectively implementing crop insurance scheme, he added.
Dr Sk. Md. Rezaul Islam, Executive Director (Additional Secretary), Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA)
He said that insurance industry is having the issue of image crisis. To develop the industry, he expressed the need to ensure excellent customer service and settling the claims timely. He also highlighted the role of IDRA in complain resolution of customers.
Mr. Joydeep K Roy, Partner, Global Leader-Insurance Digital Assets, PriceWaterhouseCooper (PwC) Pvt. Ltd
He delivered a keynote speech on the aforementioned subject matter which covered the areas of an instrument of allocation of funds, methodology of focusing attention, taking care of the underprivileged, stimulating growth in industry, increasing penetration of insurance and expansion of coverage. He also presented best practices of other countries across the globe.
P K Roy
MD of Rupali Insurance Company Ltd.
He said that the insurance sector has attained almost nothing in the budget.
He also pointed out that there are many areas in the sector, where double taxation exists. Besides, gain tax on bonus at the rate of 5.0 percent, even for micro insurance, is hurting the sector. Therefore, to popularize the microinsuranceand other insurance products, government needs to solve the existing VAT & Tax issues. Also, MRA Acts needs to be modified so that except insurance company none can operate insurance business.
Md. Jakir Hossen, Assistant Commissioner of Customs, National Board of Revenue
Mr. Hossen shared his views on VAT and tax rules and concurrent practices. He also mentioned that insurance industry is growing and government will take necessary decision as per the requirement of this industry. He added that the NBR will execute whatever decision is taken by the relevant authority.
Mr Jamal M. A. Naser, Chief Executive Officer, National Life Insurance Ltd
Mr. Naser said that it's required to segment the people who are eligible for microinsurance products. He emphasized on increasing insurance awareness among mass people. He suggested that IDRA has to play a vital role to monitoring the insurance sector. He also highlighted the issue of tax on insurance agents' income and expressed his hope that tax will be waived from the agents' income.
Mr Mohammad Hemayetullah, Chief Executive Officer, Fareast Islami Life Insurance Company Limited
Mr. Hemayetullah highlighted the necessity of providing more subsidy on social safety programs. Also, he shared his view to provide tax free insurance to the people of rural areas. He also opined that the tax from the agent commission should be removed.
Dr. Md. Khalid Hossain
Economic Justice Resilience Programme Manager, Oxfam
He pointed out that diversity is required in the insurance products to bring marginalize community under the safety net of insurance coverage. He also said that government should provide subsidy to insurance, especially crops, agriculture and health insurance products, to popularize the insurance products among general mass.
Dr Shameem Hassan Bhuiyan, Crop Insurance Consultant
Mr. Bhuiyan said that it's necessary to provide subsidy on crop insurance. He has also highlighted that meteorological, hydrological data are available now which will be helpful to settle the claims. In addition, he opined that technological involvement is needed for successfully implemented the crop insurance products.
Mr Imam Shaheen, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Insurance Company Limited
Mr. Imam Shaheen raised the issue of increasing insurance awareness through providing excellent service to the customer.
Ms Parveen Siddique, GM, JBC
Ms. Parveen Siddique pointed to the necessity of introducing free health insurance for all the employee. She shared that it's imperative to make insurance mandatory for migrant workers. She also emphasized on digitalization of insurance sector through utilization of IT.
Mr Md. Aminul Moven, Project Manager, Syngenta
Mr. Moven shared his view that people in rural areas need insurance for safeguarding their crops and cattle and other belonging from all the natural disaster. He also mentioned that agriculture insurance needs special policy and subsidy from the government for bringing more farmers under the safety net of insurance.
Mr. Monzurur Rahman
Director of Delta Life Insurance Company & Member EC of Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies
He has shared that Delta Life is the pioneer in Bangladesh for launching the microinsurance products. He expressed high hopes for microinsurance and also mentioned that microinsurance can gain popularity like microcredit if regulatory framework is developed and subsidiesare given for developing smooth operational model.
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