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22 October, 2014 13:12 IST
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Budget must stimulate growth & confidence in the economy: Dhamija
Source: IRIS | 22 Feb, 2013, 03.18PM
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Commenting on the budget expectations, Pavan Dhamija, managing director & CEO of DLF Pramerica Life Insurance Company said, ''At a macro-economic level, we see a clear need for the government to announce significant measures that will stimulate growth momentum and confidence in the economy. At the same time, further efforts will need to be made to contain the fiscal deficit and control inflation. In last year's Union Budget, there was a great deal of emphasis on government spending in sectors such as education, infrastructure and health and agriculture. Expenditures must continue to be made in these areas, though the spending needs to be far more effective with a lot higher degree of end use supervision.''

''This year, the country is also keenly looking at the Finance Minister for steps to bring down corruption and creation of black money in the system, reducing inefficiencies and successful implementation of socio-economic policies for urban & rural India. From an insurance industry standpoint, we are keenly hoping that the long pending insurance Amendment Bill which seeks to raise the FDI cap in insurance to 49% is passed. This will really help in raising additional capital for long term growth and development of the sector. The industry requires a sizeable amount of capital over the next many years to reach its full potential. This move will not only reduce the strain on capital infusion from Indian corporates operating in the sector but will help bring insurance knowledge and expertise to the country.''

''We are also hoping for a bigger tax deduction threshold under section 80-C to generate more demand for life insurance policies. Higher personal tax benefits will promote long term savings and encourage higher life insurance protection. With insurance being a long-term business, we are looking at the Finance Minister to offer meaningful tax incentives on protection oriented life insurance products that have longer tenures. Furthermore, he would like the government to set aside greater budgets for financial literacy. This would support the individual efforts that insurers are making towards increasing awareness about the importance of life insurance to ensure financial security for a family in case of any eventuality.''

''The last few years have been tough on the life insurance Industry that has seen considerable contraction over the last 3 years. In FY14 too, growth may continue to be muted, though I am hopeful of buoyancy coming back to the industry. I also expect share of protection orientation traditional products to continue to increase which is good because the fundamental purpose of buying insurance is life protection. There were very few new products that were launched in FY13. I hope insurance companies would be able to focus back on product innovation and bring innovative products in the market. There is likely to be continued thrust on reducing costs as well as operational efficiencies and persistency,'' he added.

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