ISLAMABAD - The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), with the assistance of GIZ Regulatory Framework for Promotion of Pro-Poor Insurance Markets in Asia (RFPI ASIA), has prepared a strategic framework for micro insurance development.

The framework was unveiled before various public and private stakeholders engaged in micro insurance at a Multi Stakeholder Dialogue (MSD), organised here on Thursday.

The dialogue was aimed at finding a way forward with respect to the approach to be adopted towards micro insurance development and securing the ownership of public and private stakeholders.

Its another purpose was to develop possible business concepts around micro insurance implementation and to forge feasible public-private partnerships. Commissioner Insurance Fida Hussain Samoo highlighted the regulatory reforms initiated recently.

“The Code of Corporate Governance, 2016, Bancassurance Regulations, 2015, Mincro-insurance Rules, 2014, Takaful Rules, 2012 and Small Dispute Resolution Committees are a few of the major reforms that have been introduced to strengthen the regulatory regime,” he said.

“The SECP focuses on low-income people because they are vulnerable to various factors such as illness, accidents, disabilities, deaths and natural disasters,” he added.

Dr Antonis Malagardis, Program Director (RFPI ASIA), emphasised the need for a clear definition of micro insurance and cited examples of inclusive insurance in development from South America, Africa and Asia.

He informed that among 380 million policyholders of micro insurance worldwide, almost half of them lived in Asia with product credit life followed by personal accident and property insurances.

“Health and agriculture are catching up in terms of numbers. Since they are the most complex products, therefore, they need a particular focus by the regulators and the key market players,” he said, and added, “In the last 15 years, the industry in Pakistan has developed considerably,” he informed.

Tariq Bakhtawar of the SECP said that regulatory impact assessment (RIA) was the outcome of the ongoing engagement with RFPI ASIA.

Talking about MEFIN, he said, “Pakistan is leading technical working group on Knowledge Management.”

Syed Nayyar Hussain said that the SECP had conducted a diagnostic study, in collaboration with the World Bank in 2012, and SEC (micro Insurance) Rules were promulgated in 2014.

The SECP is revising the regulatory framework in general, and especially for micro insurance while recognising the concept of "proportionality".

Group discussions were held and product development activities were carried out by Dr Malagardis.

Distinguished guests from State Bank, Commerce Ministry, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan Microfinance Network, Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company, MFIs, Telenor and Insurance Association of Pakistan shared their thoughts on regulatory framework and business models.

Nasarus Sammad Qureshi, CEO, Alfalah Insurance, agreed to work jointly to promote micro insurance, while Ahmed Kamal emphasised the need for the use of studies on cost cuttings in different sectors of the economy.

Muhammad Imaduddin, SBP Additional Director, underlined the need for joint efforts by all regulators and the insurance sector.