By NKOLE MULAMBIA
THE Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) says it will soon re-submit proposals to Government on the increase in minimum capital requirement for insurance firms.
Initially, the authority had recommended to raise the figure to K10 million from the current K1 million.
PIA chief executive officer and registrar Martin Libinga said the authority is working on revising the capital levels from the current figure.
â€œWe will re-submit proposals to the Ministry of Finance for approval. The current proposed figure is under discussion. The good news is that there were some industry stakeholders that felt that the proposed levels were too high, so we agreed that the proposed levels be revised,â€ he said.
Mr Libinga was speaking during the launch of Insurance Week from September 15 to 19, 2014 in Lusaka on Monday.
The increase in capital levels will allow new entry into the market and provide protection.
He said the PIA has also been working at strengthening the regulatory framework governing the insurance industry by updating and harmonising existing legislation.
â€œThe Insurance Act is one of the bills that are currently undergoing amendment to ensure that it is brought in line with the current operating environment,â€ he said.
He said there is need for a sound industry that will be able to meet the demands of the economy and urged the media to play a critical role to ensure that those providing insurance are practising within the confines of the law.
Meanwhile, the Insurance Association of Zambia (IAZ) has proposed to Government to consider removing value added tax (VAT) on insurance premiums in the 2015 national budget.
IAZ president Shipango Muteto said VAT makes the cost of buying insurance for the ordinary Zambian very high.
The association has also proposed to Government to introduce tax incentives for Zambians who want to take out various life policies as this ultimately helps the country when an individual takes a life policy, as a way to protect their families.
It notes that Government should consider introducing compulsory group life assurance schemes for companies and institutions employing over 25 employees to ensure that the welfare of the employees is protected.
Government should also give tax incentives to companies that offer micro insurance products targeting the vulnerable in society.
â€œAs an industry, we are committed to ensuring that as many Zambians as possible get access to this important service as a way of improving the standard of living,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, IAZ says over 2,500 direct jobs have been created in the insurance industry to date.
Mr Muteto said the industry is growing steadily as evidenced by the number of jobs created.
â€œOur members currently employ on a direct basis in excess of 2,548 with another 1,000 plus employed under the agency contracts,â€ he said.
By NKOLE MULAMBIA