NITF plays major role in development
To cover all future national events:
Extracts from an interview conducted with
National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) Chairman Senaka Abeygunasekara
Q - Explain the inception and mission of the NITF?
NITF Chairman Senaka Abeygunasekara
A - The National Insurance Trust Fund was established by Act
No 28 0f 2006 under the Finance and Planning Ministry to uplift the
living standards of Sri Lankan citizens. This was established as an
institution to implement the schemes introduced by the Government from
time to time to safeguard Public and Local Government Service officials
from the problems they face such as health, private, accident, death and
unexpected property disaster. NITF is the sole re-insurance body in Sri
The NITF participates in the social and economic development of Sri
Lanka through affordable, effective, efficient and progressive insurance
schemes for all needy segments in society. It provides solutions for the
local market to cover high risks arising from changing needs through
pooling and other arrangements and catering reinsurance market in Sri
Lanka to provide additional capacity to the local Insurance Market.
Q - What are the basic functions, services and programs of the
A - NITF has introduced several insurance schemes like
Agrahara, Motor, SRCC and terrorism, Migrant Workers and Reinsurance.
The NITF has extended its services to the public with regard to the
provision of all classes of general insurance requirements from
September 1, 2009.
There are 1.3 million members in the Agrahara scheme. Public servants
are being taken care of according to the guidelines of Mahinda Chintana.
State sector employees pay only Rs 75 as the premium to obtain benefits
through the Agrahara Insurance Scheme. But the claim ratio is around Rs
90 million per month. Agrahara hospital wards project has been launched
at a cost of Rs one billion. Under the project over 300 wards will be
constructed at State hospitals by 2016. State sector employees will have
all facilities (similar to private hospitals) in this specific ward
especially allocated for them. Services at this hospital will be
provided free of charge to them in recognition of their services. The
first ward of this project at Dambagalla rural hospital was opened along
with Deyata Kirula exhibition.
The NITF has insured around 600,000 Sri Lankans working abroad
(migrant workers). They face many hardships in foreign lands and earn
money for their Motherland. It is our responsibility to look after them
and their loved ones. These are our social obligations that we perform
The NITF invested Rs 1.2 billion in the Colombo city restructure plan
implemented by the Urban Development Authority (UDA). The NITF generates
funds from premiums. It has so far contributed Rs two billion during
this year to the National Budget and contributed Rs 2.2 billion last
The NITF has many plans for the future. It will cover all future
national events. It is already involved in many events and has granted
Rs 500 million worth insurance cover to the Deyata Kirula exhibition.
Every person who visited this exhibition gets a Rs one million insurance
cover for health, accidents etc. Around 5,000 spectacles and free eye
care was provided for senior citizens who visited the Deyata Kirula
‘Rakshana Mahagedara’ stall of the NITF.
The Deyata Kirula exhibition provides valuable information on all
sectors to the younger generation. People always have a thirst for
information. The exhibition is the best answer for this. Especially the
younger generation is very enthusiastic about new developments. The
Deyata Kirula provides all the information they are looking for.
Q - What are NITF’s future plans ?
A - The NITF needs to expand in a similar manner to that of
the GIC in India. The NITF needs to be expanded covering all SAARC
countries in the first phase. Sri Lanka looses a significant amount of
foreign exchange because 19 primary insurance companies in the country
getting their portfolios re-insured with foreign companies. This number
has to be reduced.
Sri Lanka is one of the rapidly developing countries in the region.
Banking is the top priority of a country when it comes to development.
Insurance comes second. In developed countries, around 70 percent is
insured and 30 percent not insured but here in Sri Lanka, it is the
opposite. Things will change soon because investments are flowing into
the country now since peace and stability is there. The NITF is now
actively contributing towards the country’s effort to become the Wonder
of Asia under Mahinda Chintana - Vision for the future.