Temporary staff run insurance regulator
The Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA), which regulates the country's 77 insurers, is being run with only 63 employees -- and all of them are temporary staff members.
Though the government has approved an organogram for the IDRA in 2016 -- six years after the law was passed in March 2010 -- the organisation is yet to hire anyone in the absence of required rules and regulations.
“We are in the final stage of formulating the rules and regulations,” said Gokul Chand Das, chairman, current charge, of the IDRA.
The finance ministry is yet to decide on the fate of the existing employees, he said, adding that all of them are working on a temporary basis.
Though the IDRA has recommended absorbing all the current employees into the new organogram, the finance ministry is opposed to the idea on the ground that the public administration rules do not support it.
The uncertainty about their future has left all the existing employees jittery.
“We are under great anxiety as many of us have crossed the 30-year age limit for government jobs,” said a frustrated official of the IDRA requesting not to be named. He joined the organisation in 2011.
Another official said he had no idea that they would not be absorbed into the new organogram once approved by the government.
Of the 63 existing employees, 37 are officers and the rest are lower level staff members.
They were all employed by the IDRA in 2011 and 2012 as temporary employees. They are only getting salaries. There is no provident and gratuity funds for them, unlike other government employees.
“We are doing our best to regulate the insurance industry, which was widely unregulated. Now we see that our jobs are up in the air,” said another official.
The IDRA's daily activities are also being hampered as only two members, including the chairman in-charge, are there against five positions.
“It is really difficult for us to regulate and develop the complex insurance industry with this manpower,” Das said.