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Life insurers’ premium income declines over 6% in Apr-Feb period of FY13

Total premium collected during the April-February period of 2012-13 fiscal by the industry stood at Rs84,501.75 crore, down 6.12% over the same period previous year

The life insurance industry comprising over 20 companies, including public sector LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India), saw a dip of over 6% in premium income in the last 11 months, with Reliance Life recording the steepest fall.


Total premium collected during the April-February period of 2012-13 fiscal by the industry stood at Rs84,501.75 crore, down 6.12% over the same period previous year.


Among the seven large private sector insurance companies with premium income of over Rs1,000 crore, SBI Life and ICICI Prudential saw premium income dropping by 12.18% and 2.04%, respectively, during the period under review, data released by the regulator IRDA showed.


Reliance Life Insurance Company reported over 24% decline in premium income during April-February this fiscal, the steepest fall among the major life insurers.


The premium income of Reliance Life Insurance during the 11-month period in 2012-13 dipped to Rs1,143.57 crore, from Rs1,509 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal.


Some of the major players, including HDFC Standard Life and Bajaj Allianz, however, bucked the industry trend registering a growth of 12.40% and 15% respectively.


SBI Life collected a premium of Rs4,022.50 crore, followed by ICICI Prudential (Rs3,983.66 crore), HDFC Standard (Rs3,432.05 crore) and Bajaj Allianz (Rs2,362.19 crore), during the period under review, the data showed.


India's largest life insurer LIC reported a drop of 6.35% in its premium collection at Rs60,705.46 crore during the period as against Rs64,820.48 crore in the year-ago period.


Private insurers together netted Rs23,796.29 crore in 11 months as against Rs25,195.35 crore in the corresponding period of 2011-12, showing a decline of 5.5%.


Another private sector player, Max Life, saw a meagre 0.84% drop in premium income at Rs1,587.84 crore, while Birla Sun Life’s collection dropped 9.01% to Rs1,368.35 crore during the period.


Life insurance companies collect premium under four segments—individual single, individual non-single, group single and group non-single.


PMO to RTI activist: How is this info useful to you?

Despite order from the FAA and as per the requirement of the RTI Act to put in public domain disclosures and record management, the CPIO of the PMO refused to provide information. Instead, he said the applicant failed to show how the information was useful to him either personally, socially or nationally!

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO), in a shocking order, has asked Delhi-based Right to Information (RTI) activist Commodore (retd) Lokesh Batra how that particular information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act was useful to him either personally, socially or nationally. While denying the information the Public Information Officer (PIO) seems to have violated certain provisions of the Act, that too despite clear directions from the First Appellate Authority (FAA).
Commodore Batra, sought information about the files and records that have been digitized and computerised by the PMO as per Section 4(1)(a) of the RTI Act. Section 4(1)(a) of the Right to Information Act says “every public authority shall maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act”.
However, the CPIO SE Rizvi denied the information to Commodore Batra stating that collation of information would “disproportionately divert” the resources of the office. Commodore Batra then approached the FAA with his first appeal.
Commodore Batra, in his appeal, even quoted from a speech of prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, in which he said, “They (public authorities) must endeavour to voluntarily put information in public without waiting for applications from information seekers.... The RTI Act itself mandates such disclosures and record management.”
Krishan Kumar, the FAA and director in the PMO, in his order directed, the PIO to ascertain the steps taken by the PMO in compliance with Section 4(1)(a) of the RTI Act and inform Commodore Batra the same within 15 days.
However, instead of providing the compliance info, the CPIO denied the information citing orders of the Central Information Commission (CIC) that were not relevant in the instant case. The CPIO cited CIC orders CIC/LS/A/2011/002230 dated 7.10.2011 (Shri Ashok Kumar Vs Ministry of Power) that has extracted Para 37 of Supreme Court Order dated 9.8.2011 in CA 6454 of 2011 (CBSE &anr Vs Aditya Bandopadhyaya & anr.
The CPIO said, “In light to above judgements, query at Point no. (c) too would fall in the category of one where the applicant has not specified how the requested information is useful to him personally or socially or nationally. While disclosing details of files in PMO, a balanced view has to be taken in the context of disclosure vis-a-vis confidentially, sensitive of information, fidelity and fiduciary relationship etc. Considering the matter in totality, the information is not being provided.”
Section 4 (1)(c) of the RTI Act mandates that all public authorities shall “publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public”. In addition, Section 3 of the RTI Act lays down that all citizens can exercise their fundamental right to information from all public authorities, without having to give any purpose or reasons. Similarly, as per Section 6(2) of the RTI Act, an applicant making a request for information under the RTI Act shall not give any reasons for requesting the information.
Commodore Batra said, “the CPIO's contention does not hold good as I have not asked for contents of files so there is no question of confidentiality, fidelity and fiduciary relationship.” Many times, the CIC has ruled that as per the provisions of the RTI Act, information may be exempted from disclosure in accordance with Section 8 and 9 only and no other exemptions can be claimed while rejecting a demand for disclosure.



Ubaldo C DSouza

4 years ago

I would have told the PMO that I want to archive it to eventually build up a case or write a book. But I would also ask him how important it is for them to withhold or conceal it. Does the PM know about his Office's query?

Amar Wadhwa

4 years ago

Although RTI is a very helpful act but of late,like any other act, this has been used to get oneself in the limelight by asking information, which apparently serve no purpose and result in the waste of manpower and to haras others.
It's use be judicial and for purpose. Information should be seeked, if it serves some purpose.

P M Ravindran

4 years ago

I am not surprised. The govt and the courts together have reduced the RTI Act to vegetable state. The DoPT has itself circulated an instruction-OM No F10/02/2008 dated 24 Sep 2010-not to abide by sec 6(3) of the RTI Act. It has even quoted the CIC as having concurred with this decision. To an application under the RTI Act for minutes/file notings of such consultations the response from the CIC was negative. A complaint to them has been brushed aside. Now I have sent a notice under Sec 80 of CPC to the Secretary, DoPT for prosecuting the govt in a court of law. Meanwhile the instructions of this illegal OM is being followed with gusto by all public authorities in Kerala at least!

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