IRDA fines LIC, HDFC Standard for missing rural obligation

New Delhi: The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) has imposed a penalty of Rs5 lakh each on two life insurers — state-run Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and HDFC Life Insurance — for failing to meet rural and social sector obligation in 2008-09, reports PTI.

IRDA has imposed a fine on LIC and HDFC Standard Life Insurance for non-compliance under the rural sector target during 2008-09, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha.

Against the target of 25%, LIC missed it by a whisker and could only underwrite 24.27% of policies in the rural sector, he said.

At the same time, HDFC Standard Life achieved just 12.85% against the target of 19%, he said.

"As per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Obligation of Insurers to Rural or Social Sectors) Regulations, 2002 as amended in 2007, insurance companies are required to achieve the prescribed percentage of their policies in case of life insurers and of premium income in case of non-life insurers in the rural sector in the respective year of their operations in India," he said.

To another question, minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena said the public sector general insurance companies have been incurring health insurance claims in excess of premium received and after factoring in acquisition costs, which are around 10%, and the management expenses which are over 25%, the combined ratio that is the total expenses for health portfolio exceed 140% of the premium income.

In an effort to rationalise the health insurance portfolio and provide health care at an affordable cost and at the same time help the insurer control increasing cost of health care, the public sector general insurance companies have initiated the process to create a Preferred Provider Network (PPN) of hospitals in fours cities, he said.

Theses cities include Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. At present the PPN includes a network of 449 hospitals (Delhi-163, Mumbai-121, Chennai-84 and Bangalore 81) and more hospitals are joining the network, he added.

Replying to another question, Mr Meena said the airline industry has been pointing out to the government the constraints that are being faced by them.

The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) has taken up the matter with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), he said.


Govt proposes to introduce DIN from July next year

New Delhi: The government proposes to allot an identification number, which would be quoted on every income-tax (I-T) related communication, from July one next year, reports PTI.

"The government proposes to allot the Document Identification Number (DIN) income tax authority is required to allot a computer generated DIN on or after 1 July, 2011, before issue of every notice, order, letter or any correspondence to any other income tax authority or assessee," minister of state for finance S S Palanimanickam informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

It also provides that every document, letter, correspondence received by an income tax authority or on behalf of such an authority should be accepted only after allotting and quoting of a computer-generated DIN.


CII calls for common man's help to curb counterfeiting and piracy

Counterfeiting and piracy is generally perceived as a victimless crime with ‘fakes’ simply constituting a cheap alternative purchase. CII wants to change this perception

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has called upon the common man to stop the menace of counterfeiting and piracy. Speaking at the '4th International Conference on Counterfeiting and Piracy', many speakers felt a need for more awareness and capacity building as an effective way to stop counterfeiting and piracy at its root.

Anjan Das, senior director, CII said counterfeiting and piracy is generally perceived by society as a victimless crime with 'fakes' simply constituting a cheap alternative purchase, and seen by criminals as having a low risk of prosecution with light penalties relative to the large profits to be made. The reality is that the international trade in counterfeit and pirated products is estimated to exceed 6% of global trade.

Most of the counterfeit and pirated products enter India through ports. Last month, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) amended a three-year old notification to tighten the norms for import of products that have IP rights protection.

According to Dr HS Hassan, commissioner of import, Mumbai, cosmetics, mobile phones and automobile parts are the most counterfeit products that reached the Indian ports. He said, even if they seize some consignment of counterfeit or pirate products, many a times the product rights holder does not come forward and the customs department has to release these goods.

However, often, right holders of such product found themselves tied down with a bond and assurance in the form of a bank guarantee, which need to be provided within five working days. "The government is considering the request of right holders to have a running bond, but at present we cannot tell when it will come into existence," Dr Hassan said. Incidentally, the customs department do not have experts in-house to check and verify authenticity of an imported product and does not mind going for a specialised training from the industry, the commissioner said.

According to estimates by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), about 7%-10% of global trade is derived from counterfeit products. The WCO Customs and IPR Report 2009 said there were 13,280 reported cases involving the seizure of more than 291 million counterfeit or pirated articles.

China is most often found to be the origin of many of the counterfeit and pirated products. However, according to Jack Chang, chairman of Quality Brands Protection Committee (QBPC), in the early days of QBPC, difference in perceptions was the biggest difficulty as some local enforcement agencies in China believed that counterfeiting was a necessary process for primitive economic growth and did not harm the society there. "Changing people's minds is a hard task, but once it is done, our work will become easier than before," Mr Chang added.

Mr Chang, who is also the Senior Intellectual Property (IP) Counsel for General Electric Asia, said, an effective police investigation can hunt down those who start the fire, who create and run the supply of chain of counterfeit goods and put these so-called invincible hands operating the counterfeiting network into custody to face criminal charges. Speaking about protecting the IP across the globe, Mr Chang said there is a need for sourcing and destination countries to work together.




7 years ago




7 years ago

Valid points in this article, thanks - but when the Indian Government has as yet not put forth any sensible laws to tackle the issue of counterfeit currency, then how on earth are citizens going to be able to be of help? CII has to get to the root of issues - excise evasion and other such issues encourage duplicate production in India (also known as "seconds" in some cases, like in liquor) and that has been going on for decades. Now that the same thing is done by importers, CII cries foul?

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