Inclusion of pvt insurers as 'public servants'

Finance division turns down ACC proposal

Syful Islam | Published: January 12, 2019 09:54:44 | Updated: January 12, 2019 13:46:34


A representational illustration/Collected

Finance division has turned down a proposal to include the staffers of private insurance companies as 'public servants', sources said.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) earlier proposed to include them as public servants by amending the Insurance Act 2010 to bring them under a legal framework.

The employees of private insurers might claim benefits, financial or otherwise, from the government once they are declared public servants, argued the finance division officials.

It has brought to the fore a stipulation of the Penal Code 1860 in this context.

Section 21 of the penal code says every person who is "in the service or pay of the Government or remunerated by the Government by fees or commissions for the performance of any public duty" will be considered as 'public servants'.

The staffers of private insurers in no way fall under this definition, an official of the division under finance ministry said at a recent meeting.

They also opined that if private insurers and their employees need to be brought under the purview of the ACC Act, scope is there to amend the concerned provision of the Act.

The ACC has scope to investigate wrongdoings and take action against any person in the country, said Financial Institutions Division additional secretary Ajit Kumar Paul.

Amending the Insurance Act and declaring the staff members of private insurers as 'public servants' is not necessary in this case, he told the FE.

If necessary, Mr Paul said, they can be included in the list of 'public servants' for the time being, but not permanently.

He, however, said opinion has been sought from finance division, and law and justice division to make a decision on the ACC's proposal.

Earlier, Sadharan Bima Corporation general manager Bibekananda Saha told the FE that it is not necessary to declare insurance people as 'public servants'.

Neighbouring India and Sri Lanka have no such a system in operation, he mentioned.

The insurance authorities have adequate powers to punish those found guilty, he maintained.

An estimated 82,000 people are working for both life and non-life insurance companies countrywide.

Of them, more than 38,000 are involved as 'agents' with 78 insurance firms.

Currently, Bangladesh has some 32 life and 46 non-life insurance companies.

syful-islam@outlook.com

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