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The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 4th March, 2015 and by the Rajya Sabha on 12th March, 2015, thus paving the way for major reform related amendments in the Insurance Act, 1938, the General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act, 1972 and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Act, 1999. The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act 2015 notified on 23rd March, 2015 has seamlessly replaced the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014, which came into force on 26th December 2014. The amendment Act removes archaic and redundant provisions in the legislations and incorporates certain provisions to provide Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) with the flexibility to discharge its functions more effectively and efficiently. It also provides for enhancement of the foreign investment cap in an Indian Insurance Company from 26% to an explicitly composite limit of 49% with the safeguard of Indian ownership and control.

Listing of Public Sector General Insurance Companies

To promote the objective of achieving higher levels of transparency and accountability, government has approved listing of the following five Government owned General Insurance Companies on the stock exchanges namely The New India Assurance Company Ltd., United India Insurance Company Ltd., Oriental Insurance Company Ltd., National Insurance Company Ltd. and General Insurance Corporation of India.

The shareholding of these Public Sector General Insurance Companies (PSGICs) will be divested from 100 percent to 75 percent in one or more tranches over a period of time. During the process of disinvestment, existing rules and regulations of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) will be followed.

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