'Expect govt to bring people within insurance ambit'

Expect government to focus on bringing more people under the ambit of life insurance, says Kamlesh Rao

Another important move would be to encourage women to insure their lives and savings.

By Mr. Kamlesh Rao

In the upcoming budget, we expect the government to focus on bringing more people under the ambit of Life Insurance, promote long-term savings and encourage capital formation. In a country with inadequate social security, protection offered by life insurance is inevitable; however, lack of its penetration is plaguing the industry.  Introducing separate deduction of Rs 50,000 for first time life insurance buyers and an additional capping of Rs 50,000 for someone purchasing a pure protection (term) plan will put life insurance on fast track. Another important move would be to encourage women to insure their lives and savings. Extra tax benefit for women policyholders will be a significant step. Moreover, relaxation of section 10(10)(D), where minimum sum assured is required to be 10 times of annual premium will be a desirable move. The budget should also bring about measures to bring parity between pension products offered by life insurers and NPS. Lowering rate of GST at 12% (with input tax credit benefit) will be beneficial for both policyholders and companies. These measures will pave the growth path for the LI sector, besides increasing the security net of the nation’s people at a very low cost.

(The writer is the MD & CEO, Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance)