Art And Craft Of Regulation

Updated: Jan 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
The insurance regulator is torn between two sharply divided sections of his constituency: the public sector alleges it has so far been Insurance Regulatory and Development Authoritys (Irda) favourite whipping boy. When among scribes, Irda chairman N Rangachary has of late tried to distance himself from any hint of criticism where the public sector companies, especially non-life ones, are concerned. The most bitter battles between the public and private sectors are at present being fought over motor insurance.

The state-owned insurers are under tremendous pressure to grant the mandatory third party insurance whereas the new companies happily squirm out. This time, private companies are at the receiving end with the regulator firm on freeing tariffs on the own-damage (OD) segment of motor insurance. Public sector companies may not be ready for that, but at least they have deeper pockets to sustain any shocks.

The private sector may cry itself hoarse for mercy, but this one time the regulator is determined to seem fair.

Fair boy or bad boy Of course, hes hoping the de-tariffing committee will deliver its report too late for him to take a view before June when he will bow out of office!

Corporate Seizures
At a conference on investment opportunities in Haryana, organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), droves of businessmen, Indian and from abroad (mostly from the US), came to meet the ostensibly progressive chief minister Om Prakash Chautala.

At the start of the conference, IACCs Asoke Laha welcomed the congregation and then began his extolment of Haryanas doings.

Haryana is a progressive state, said Mr Laha, With seizable investments and seizable foreign companies.

While the Indians in the audience knew Mr Laha meant sizable, eavesdropper saw some of the Americans in the audience shuffle uneasily in their seats. Ten to one they thought Haryana is a nouveau-Stalinist property!