Budget reaction from Mr. Rakesh Jain, CEO, Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.

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National, February 02, 2022: The General Insurance Industry has played a stellar role in the country’s upliftment and its constituents over the years, particularly during the Covid Pandemic or during a dozen-odd Cyclones/floods that have been hitting our country almost on an annual basis. The industry has provided financial stability to millions of people and establishments, settling claims over Rs. 1.50 Lac Crores each year and growing. The status of the GI Industry is no less than the infrastructure industry as it leads to building many stabilizing foundations in sectors like Healthcare, Automotive, SME, Agriculture apart from risk transfers for Corporate and Individuals. As the Indian economy emerges stronger in years to come, the role of the GI Industry in taking care of unforeseen risks is almost imperative to ensure that disruptions are handled in an organized manner. The abysmal penetration of Insurance vis-à-vis global levels is a clear risk in this journey.

The Budget for the year 2022-23 has laid clear emphasis on the capital outlay, with the capital expenditure proposed to be enhanced to Rs.7.5 lakh crores at 2.9% of the GDP; over 35% increase than the last year. This is likely to result in the generation of capital assets across the country, with a focus on the infrastructure space. Such assets need to be insured, and the General Insurance industry in India is fully geared up to meet the country’s rising needs. Further, such creation of assets has cascading effects on employment, income and consumption. It improves an individual’s lifestyle and helps develop both the knowledge and the need to protect the assets and health of the family members through Insurance. This leads to a virtuous cycle for a secular growth of the General Insurance industry. There is also a move to use Surety Bonds, which the Insurance companies may issue under the framework of IRDA, as a substitute for Bank Guarantee in Government procurements and Gold imports. The move recognizes the ability of the Insurance industry to provide alternative products to the Banking sector, thus paving the way to reduce the cost and diversity risk.