Budget 2019: 'Waive off GST on insurance products'

 

Rikhil Shah, Chief Financial Officer, SBI General Insurance 

 

With many government insurance programs aimed at the weaker sections of the society; we feel the middle class should be encouraged to protect themselves and their families from future risks. This can be done by introducing tax deductions and a complete waiver of the GST on essential insurance products.

As a general rule, the insurance industry looks to the annual budget to provide the road map as far as the economic direction of the country is concerned. It also needs to be noted that government schemes play a major part in driving growth in the insurance industry. From our perspective, we would in particular watch out for budget initiatives which would provide a boost to our industry.

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Measures designed to fuel infrastructure growth or increase automobile sales would have a direct impact on our business. Similarly, steps to improve insurance penetration such as tax exemption for health and home insurance premiums or increasing the threshold for deduction under section 80D would be of benefit to us. Today, the economy can progress by creating jobs and expanding the growth of middle and poor class as their consumption becomes the main growth driver. The budget may also bring measures to incentivise companies to create more jobs and reskill workforce.

 

The author is the Chief Financial Officer of SBI General Insurance. 

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