Irdai to see top level exits in next few months

Friday 30, January, 2015 The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) will see several top level exits in the next few months. While the positions of whole-time members of non-life, finance & investment and distribution will become vacant between March and July, the post of member-life has been lying vacant since February 2014. “We are hopeful that the top level executives are appointed before the next fiscal. Otherwise, not just product approval, the overall formulation of regulations and therefore industry functioning would be hampered,” said the chief executive of a large life insurance company. According to the section 4 of Irda Act, 1999, the regulatory body is composed of a 10-member team consisting of a chairman, five whole-time members and four part-time members. All of them are appointed by the government of India. Senior appointments under the central government require approval from the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). The position of member-distribution, who is responsible for handling matters related to agents, intermediaries and their licensing requirements, was carved out in 2013 and D D Singh (former zonal manager at LIC) has been appointed for this maiden post. M Ramaprasad, member (non-life) is retiring in May 2015 while member (finance & investment) R K Nair's tenure would end in March 2015. Irdai’s member (distribution) DD Singh will also retire in July. If the replacements are not appointed in time, an extension could also be given to some officials including R K Nair. Sources said an extension could be given for another 18-24 months. Similarly, the position of member-life is vacant since February 2014 after S Roy Chowdhury retired. Nobody has been appointed for this post, though the member-distribution is handling it for the time-being. While some interviews were conducted, the final appointment has not taken place. After a long wait, Pournima Gupte took charge as member-actuary at Irda in January 2015. The position of member- actuary at Irdai, had been lying vacant for almost four years. R Kannan, Former Member-actuary had retired in early 2011. Meanwhile, the government has invited applications for the appointment of whole-time members. Applications have been invited for the positions of member-life, member-non life and member-finance & investment. Delay in appointment of members would delay the passage of important regulations that are on the anvil, say insurers. Agent commissions and new regulatory structures are to be finalised by Irda where both member-life and member-distribution are to play a vital role among others. Similarly, the final micro-insurance regulations are still to be passed where all members would decide on the new structure as also the Insurance Marketing Firm regulations where these firms would distribute insurance products. Final guidelines on banks as brokers is also awaited.

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