New Initiatives

1. The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008, which proposed amendments in the Insurance Act, 1938, the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Act, 1999 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on the 22nd December, 2008. The proposed amendments were aimed at removing archaic and redundant provisions in the legislations and incorporating certain provisions to provide IRDA with flexibility to discharge its functions more effectively.

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008 was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance for examination and report. The Standing Committee submitted its report to Parliament on the 13th December, 2011. The Standing Committee on Finance, in its report, has made several recommendations suggesting amendments in the Bill.The Notice to introduce the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill with official amendments was sent to Rajya Sabha Secretariat on several occasions prior to scheduled sessions, including most recently on 30.01.2014. The matter could, however, not be taken up by the House.

Based on the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance and the announcement made by the FM in the Budget speech for the year 2014-15, Government has finalised 99 official amendments to the Bill as approved by the Cabinet on 24.07.2014, with such drafting and consequential changes, if any, in consultation with the Legislative Department.Accordingly, this department has issued notice on 25.07.2014 to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat to move for consideration and passing, the Insurance Laws (Amendment), Bill 2008 in the Rajya-Sabha. The Bill could, however, not be taken up by the House and has been referred to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha under the Chairmanship of Dr. Chandan Mitra.

2. Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) as a pension scheme for senior citizens.

The revived Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) was formally launched by the Finance Minister on 14.08.2014 and will be open during the window stretching from 15th August, 2014 to 14th August, 2015 for the benefit of citizens aged 60 years and above. The scheme will be administered by LIC. The subscription to the scheme is likely to create a corpus of more than Rs. 10,000 crore, and would thus also be a significant source of resource mobilization for the development of the country. Pension would be on immediate annuity basis in monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annual mode, varying, respectively, between Rs. 500 to 5000 (monthly), Rs. 1500 to 15,000 (quarterly), Rs. 3000 to Rs. 30,000 (half-yearly) and from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 60,000 (annually), depending on the amount subscribed and the option exercised. The pay-out implies an assured return of 9% on monthly payment basis, which amounts to an annualized return of 9.38%. As on date 2477 beneficiaries have registered and total amount received is 74.52 crore.