Future Generali India Life launches Bima Advantage

Bima Advantage helps to build wealth and offers protection with an option to double the insurance cover from the inception

Future Generali India Life Insurance has launched Future Generali Bima Advantage, a unit-linked endowment plan. The plan helps to build wealth and offers protection with an option to double the insurance cover from the inception.

The policyholder can opt for enhanced insurance cover to enhance the life cover under the policy, at inception and in the event of demise of the life assured, the enhanced insurance cover sum assured is paid in addition to basic plan sum assured, to the nominee.

On maturity of the policy, fund value as on date will be paid to the life assured. The policyholder can choose to receive the maturity benefit under settlement option through periodical payments after the maturity date for up to five years. On death of the life assured during the settlement period, the fund value will become payable. The plan has term options of 10 to 30 years and is available for customers in the age group of 7 to 65 years.

The basic premiums, net of applicable charges, are invested in unit funds of the customer's choice. Minimum basic sum assured for policy holders between 7 to 45 years, is half the policy term or 10 times the annualised basic premium, whichever is higher. For policy holders aged 45 years & above, the minimum sum assured is 0.25 times the policy term or 7 times the annualised basic premium, whichever is higher.

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BNP Paribas MF unveils Fixed Term Fund-Series 22 C

BNP Paribas Mutual Fund new issue closes on 27th July

BNP Paribas Mutual Fund has launched BNP Paribas Fixed Term Fund-Series 22 C, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme would be to achieve growth of capital through investments made in a basket of fixed income securities maturing on or before the maturity of the scheme. The tenure of the scheme is two years.

The new issue closes on 27th July. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.

CRISIL Short Term Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. Alok Singh is the fund manager.

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Outsourcing of PF, gratuity payments, insurance work in SMEs mooted

In a discussion paper, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has suggested creation of new service entities to which most of the statutory compliances, under the labour laws for SMEs, can be outsourced

The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be allowed to outsource their statutory obligations such as provident fund management, gratuity payments and insurance for workers to enable them to focus on their core business, Industry Ministry has proposed.  
    
In a discussion paper, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has suggested creation of new service entities to which most of the statutory compliances, under the labour laws for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), can be outsourced.

It said that the proposed entity could create a trust, as allowed under the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Act.
      
The industry can have the option of asking the entity to provide pension in lieu of or in addition to the provident fund.
      
Similarly, the service entities could have its own medical facilities or could tie-up with other hospitals to guarantee the services required under the Employees State Insurance (ESI) Act. The move would not even need an amendment to the ESI Act since there is already a provision for such an option.      
"The proposed concept implies that, short of assuming the criminal liabilities of the companies, most business related statutory liabilities can be assumed by this entity," it said.      

Under the proposal, the outsourcing service entities can double up as insurance companies and provide a job loss policy cover in case of retrenchment.      
Giving the rationale for the proposal, the paper said that while large industries can engage professionals to comply with the statutory obligations, SMEs are largely single-man or family-managed entities. They do not have resources to employ full-time professionals to manage the legal compliances.    
 
The paper also raised questions such as whether the business model was capable of attracting private sector participation and if the existing players in the insurance sector will be willing to take up the activity in addition to their present mandate.      

"The new service entity... is expected to be more efficient, economical and financially better equipped to serve the interests of both the employers and the employees. The industry can then concentrate more on their core activities like production and marketing," it added.      

The paper said given the multiplicity of compliances, it becomes virtually impossible for SME units to fulfil all the obligations as required by law. The compliances range from remitting contributions to filing periodic returns besides maintenance of registers and records.  
    
"As a result they are often forced to sidestep the burden of compliances by engaging casual/contract labour or resorting to more and more mechanisation," it said.

Seeking comments on its discussion paper, DIPP has raised questions like requirement of a regulator for such entities and whether the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) can be entrusted with the responsibility.

As an alternative to a policy for tackling job loss, the entity may opt for a sinking fund mechanism or operate a combination of a job loss policy plus a sinking fund on behalf of the industrial establishments, the paper said.

This entity could also take up the responsibility of other statutory payouts under other laws like disability compensation and compensations on account of accidents, injury or death, it said.

The paper said the proposed entity can constitute a profitable business model and can function on commercial lines.

"If a proper legal framework is put in place for such an entity, number of such entities can emerge which could provide competition and bring down the eventual cost to the industry, particularly the SMEs," it added.

Further, the workers will also be saved from approaching multiple agencies requiring complex paper work and bureaucratic hurdles for getting their legitimate dues. DIPP has sought stakeholders' comments till 16th August.

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