Country's insurance-sector owners Sunday demanded changes in some sections of the Insurance Act and incorporation of some new provisions to give the sector a much-needed shot in the arm.
Their demands were raised at a meeting with finance minister AMA Muhith at his secretariat office. A delegation led by Bangladesh Insurance Association (BIA) president Sheikh Kabir Hossain placed the demands. Officials from the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) were also present.
After the meeting Mr Hossain told newsmen that the minister assured them of considering the issues after scrutiny.
In a written memo the BIA president in the meeting said until now some 19 rules and regulations had been framed under the Insurance Act 2010. Some more rules need to be framed alongside making changes to some sections of the Act.
He placed an eight-point charter of demands which include amendment to some sections of the act and inclusion of some sections by forming a special committee.
"Framing the regulation on appointing insurance agents, and providing licence to insurance brokers are also immediately needed to help expand country's insurance business," he said.
Mr Hossain noted that there are some contradictory provisions in the Insurance Act, the Bank Companies Act, and orders of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission regarding appointment of directors. He demanded resolving the contradictions.
He suggested raising the upper limit of the management expenditure of insurance companies, taking into consideration future socioeconomic scenarios.
The BIA president said in the past there was no provision of paying value-added tax (VAT) in case of renewal of licence of insurance companies. The insurance companies have recently been asked to pay VAT for the last five years, which is not possible since the audit of their financials for those years has already completed.
The association demanded waiver in this case.
They also see the imposition of 15 per cent VAT on agent commission's payment as a big blow to the sector. The issue needs to be resolved.
Mr Hossain also said some non-government organisations (NGOs) have started insurance business which is not permitted in the Insurance Act. Steps need to be taken to bar them from doing such business.
The finance minister, however, did not brief newsmen after the meeting.