Health insurance premium doubles to Rs7,800 crore

Payment towards health insurance claims by insurance firms rose by about 82.5% to Rs7,456 crore last year over 2008-09, according to data released by Insurance Information Bureau (IIB)

New Delhi: Boosted by rising number of customers, premium collection by health insurance firms almost doubled to Rs7,803 crore in the last fiscal from Rs3,976 crore in 2008-09, even as claim payments shot up, reports PTI.

Meanwhile, payment towards claim settlements by insurance firms rose by about 82.5% to Rs7,456 crore last year over 2008-09, as per the data released by Insurance Information Bureau (IIB).

Similarly, the number of policy holders too increased to 68,84,687 in the last fiscal from 45,75,725 in 2008-09.

With health insurance portability set to be launched from 1st July, the sector is set to witness increased competition.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has issued guidelines for health insurance portability, whereby one can switch service providers without compromising on policy terms. The customers are also expected to get well-priced policies and better quality services.

As many as 8,16,793 policy holders in the age group of 41-60 years claimed insurance, followed by 7,87,621 persons in the age bracket of 26-40 years in 2009-10. The data revealed that parents of children below the age of one year made 4,87,288 claims and the firms paid Rs 1,713 crore towards the same.

Further, people suffering from circulatory, digestive, urology, eye and infection problems topped the list of health insurance claimants. A total of 32,63,597 insurance claims were made in the last fiscal.

The IIB said the data is based on information received from third party administrators (TPAs) and insurers.

Besides, three standalone health insurers-Star Health & Allied Insurance, Apollo MUNICH and Max BUPA-number of other players including National Insurance Company, United India and Oriental Insurance and ICICI Lombard are active in this field.

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IRDA cancels PNB Principal Insurance Broking licence

Delhi-based public sector lender PNB will also buy out Principal and Berger Paints' stake of 26% and 25%, respectively in a proposed insurance broking company, which also did not get off the ground

New Delhi: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) today said it has cancelled the licence of PNB Principal Insurance Broking pursuant to their request for surrender, reports PTI.

"Pursuant to the request made by the broker for surrender of broker licence, the authority hereby cancels the Direct Broker Licence granted to PNB Principal Insurance Broking," IRDA said in a statement.

This is pursuant to the restructuring of the insurance broking business of state-run Punjab National Bank, under which PNB bought out the stake of its two partners.

However, the other local partner Vijaya Bank would remain with the joint venture.

Delhi-based public sector lender PNB will also buy out Principal and Berger Paints' stake of 26% and 25%, respectively in a proposed insurance broking company, which also did not get off the ground.

IRDA said that the shareholders of PNB Principal Insurance Broking applied to surrender its license on 24 November 2010.

IRDA said PNB Principal Insurance Broking would continue to provide service to its clients for the next six months and would "make suitable arrangements with another licensed broker to service the contracts already concluded".

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Govt expects record wheat procurement of this year

The government is expecting to procure 26 million tonnes of wheat in the 2011-12 marketing year (April-March), 16% higher than last year's procurement of 22.52 million tonnes

New Delhi: Buoyed by estimates of bumper wheat production, the government is targeting procurement of a record 26 million tonnes in 2011-12 from farmers at a support price of Rs1,120 per quintal, reports PTI.

The government is expecting to procure 26 million tonnes in 2011-12 marketing year (April-March), 16% higher than last year's procurement of 22.52 million tonnes.

The previous high was achieved in 2008-09 marketing year, when the procurement stood at 25.3 million tonnes.

"The government expects a bumper wheat crop and the estimated procurement may be to the tune of 26 million tonnes," Food Corporation of India (FCI) said in a statement.

According to the second advance estimate released by the agriculture ministry, wheat production is likely to touch a new record of 81.47 million tonnes this year as against 80.71 million tonnes in the previous year.

The government procures wheat and rice from farmers at minimum support price (MSP) to provide them a remunerative price.

It supplies cheaper grains to poor through ration shops and maintains buffer stock.

FCI is the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains. It also involves other state agencies to buy the grains from farmers.

Anticipating shortage of space on account of likely high procurement, FCI has decided to hire godowns for one year to store wheat, which will be harvested from April onwards.

"The efforts will be to hire as much as capacity as possible under a one year guarantee scheme so as to meet the storage requirement for the coming rabi season," the statement added.

Recently, food minister KV Thomas had said the government plans to add 17 million tonnes of storage capacity in the next 2-3 years in view of higher procurement, which is essential to implement the National Food Security Act.

The prime minister had last week said the government will soon introduce the related bill in Parliament.

Under the National Food Security Bill, the government will provide legal guarantee to beneficiaries for fixed quantity of rice or wheat supplied via ration shops each month at subsidised rates.

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COMMENTS

Shadi Katyal

6 years ago

Where is this wheat going to be stored??
Why not let it be in open market and dealers buy and sell as was done before Permit Raj.
Why are resources being wasted and wheat rotting in the open storage. Drive around any main road in Punjab Haryana and you will find blue pastic covering wheat etc in open fields, This is what we have in our nation for storage in today's world. Dont be afraid if you find rats bigger than cats nearby.
Time to abolish Food Ministry along with STC etc.

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