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Strengthen supervision over Insurance Sector

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12th-Sep-2017       
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ACCORDING to the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) sources, the organisation's top posts are still vacant, meaning - it can neither hold Board Meetings nor take decisions on policyholders and insurers' interest. Thus, the IDRA's validity and functionality come into the fore right away.

IDRA has been formed under the provision on Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority Act 2010 in 2011, aiming to develop and regulate the insurance business. However, following lack of efficient personnel it apparently seems to be failing to serve the purpose of supervising the insurance business and safeguarding the interest of policy holders in the country.

The regulatory authority is reportedly working for the systematic development and regulation of insurance industry with a view to implement the 'The National Insurance Policy 2014'. The question, however, how is it then functioning without the required Chairman, Executive Director, Directors and Members in the first place?

The post of Chairman remained vacant for about four months since the expiry of the tenure of the last Chairman on April 6 this year. After the tenure of the Chairman was over, the regulator could not hold any Board Meeting for lack of quorum which requires at least three members, including the Chairman. Moreover, the tentative time on the appointment of Directors and Members is still under consideration.

There are two important points in the light of IDRA's realty -- it is understandably unable to function and its clients or insurers are not supposed to bank on its credibility. Though the government is reported to have finally appointed a retired secretary of Finance Division as new Chairman, but he is yet to assume duty and the procedure of recruiting others are somewhat progressing at snail's pace.

The watchdog organisation is now doing simply routine work. Much needed monitoring for the sector that deals with huge sums of money -- now is stalled. Earlier, the IDRA used to inspect different offices to check whether their rules being complied with or not.

Needs be reminded, it requires a significant amount of public money and resources to maintain regulatory bodies, and the IDRA appears to be a white elephant in this regard.

Nevertheless, the regulatory body that oversees country's 77 life and non-life insurance companies is in urgent need of systematic formation and functioning itself. The establishment's organogram provides for appointment of 155 officials, including four Executive Directors and seven Directors. Instead of delaying any further, the government's authorities concerned should gear up efforts to fill up the vacant posts while ensuring the IDRA to serve its purpose.

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