More players entered insurance mkt in 07

New Delhi, Dec 28 | Updated: Dec 29 2007, 06:07am hrs
The UPA Governments promise to liberalise the insurance sector for foreign players remained just that in 2007, but it did not stop more overseas companies to foray in the country in tie-ups with local firms.

The year also saw regulator Irda giving more freedom to non-life insurers to price their products, the countrys biggest life insurance firm LIC getting approval for a health policy and banning of actuarial-funded unit linked products.

Left parties vehement opposition to financial sector reforms prevented the government from increasing foreign direct investment cap from 26% at present to 49%. The UPA regime had proposed raising the FDI cap in its first budget in 2004-05. The Cabinet had in 2006-end referred it to a group of ministers headed by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Finance minister P Chidambaram recently expressed optimism that financial sector reforms would make some headway in the remaining 16 months of the UPA government, but he did not specify whether it would include the insurance sector.