Expense Account, Mint
The government has made the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) the sole regulator of unit-linked insurance plans (Ulip) and amended the Acts governing other regulators to make its intentions clear. I have two views on this handing over of a hybrid product to one regulator instead of a joint-regulation mechanism with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)—a precedent for which exists between the banking and capital market regulators. One leads to a process of harmonization of the market place in which investors (and the country) win. The second leads to a situation where the investor invests in financial products at his own risk because the government backs institutional cheating in a country where lobbyists with vested interests win. The consumer loses.