The government has made several changes to its regulations governing insurance and taxation over the past one month. Here are some of the important amendments to the rules.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) introduced nearly half a dozen important changes for the insurance sector.
IRDAI announced to implement a risk-based supervisory framework in a shift towards global best supervision practices, focusing on “proportionality” and “materiality” that relies on a holistic analysis of the regulated entities’ activities from a risk perspective.
Irdai has been engaging with various stakeholders to ensure robust development and smooth implementation of this framework.
In another circular, Irdai has also directed life insurers to make available suitable insurance products as required under the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2021, and Surrogacy Act, 2021. This will allow more people to have access to suitable insurance products as required under the law, ensuring wider insurance penetration in the country.
In addition, for policyholders’ protection, Irdai has issued guidelines to fast-track insurance settlements for flood victims in North India. General insurers and standalone health insurance companies have been asked to mobilise all resources to ensure immediate assistance to the affected people. Insurers are advised to set up 24x7 helpline numbers to assist insurance claimants and launch awareness campaign, as per insurance broker SecureNow.
In a separate order, the regular has cautioned the public on the unregistered entity Bhartiya Cooperative General Insurance Limited soliciting insurance services, primarily crop insurance. Irdai has clarified that no registration has been granted to the firm to undertake insurance business and advised the public to refrain from doing any transaction with the entity.
Irdai has also simplified the approval process for launching life insurance products for the ease of doing business. Now, life insurers can launch group unit-linked and individual unit-linked insurance products without the authority’s prior approval.
It is expected to boost innovation, resulting in better product choices for customers and encourage swift response to market demands.
ITR & Penalty
In the taxation area, the I-T Department has asked the Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) and the Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) to update their residential status with supporting documents to reactivate their PAN cards which may have became inoperative due to the non-linking of their PAN cards with Aadhaar, and disclose foreign assets, if any, while filing Income Tax Returns (ITR).
So, NRIs and OCIs can reactivate their PAN cards and avoid Rs 10 lakh in penalty for non-disclosure of foreign assets by following the guidelines provided by the I-T Department.