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IRDA favours unified law for managing disasters

June 25, 2003 16:22 IST

Favouring a unified legislation for disaster management, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority on Wednesday said that it would discuss with the insurers a mechanism, whereby municipalities could be empowered to collect premium for covering the risks associated with major calamities.

"We will discuss with the insurers about the mandatory premium that can be collected by municipalities for covering the risks of calamities," IRDA chairman C S Rao said on the sidelines of a Ficci-World Bank seminar in New Delhi.

Although the various bodies like municipalities, state governments or the Centre can be entrusted with the collection of the premium, Rao said it is ultimately the insurance companies which would cover the risks.

Referring to the Tenth Five Year Plan, he said that there was a need for a unified legislation for disaster management.

"It should clearly define what constitutes a disaster at the national level and what should be the role of different agencies in the relief efforts," he said.

In view of the current division of responsibilities between states and the Centre, he said, "There is a need to create a body of legislation dealing with response to natural disasters and other emergencies, clearly delineating responsibilities and powers of each entity and specifying what powers or actions would need to be activated on declaration of a disaster by the government."

He said the legislation should also include the laws dealing with chemical disasters.

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