Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The government has constituted a four- member Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority for bringing more discipline and dynamism in the insurance sector, officials said.

Shefaq Ahmed, the country’s lone full actuary with nearly three decades of experience at home and abroad, has been appointed as the chairman of the authority with immediate effect.

Ziaul Haq Mamum, a professor of Institute of Business Administration in the Dhaka University, Naba Gopal Banik, an ex-executive director of the Bangladesh Bank and Shamsher Ali, a retired joint secretary, have been appointed as members.

The authority will operate according to the new insurance laws enacted in March 2010, with a view to reforming the poorly-regulated sector.

The new laws allow merger and acquisition in the already crowded service industry and pave the way for the entry of more foreign companies into the market.

The laws provide for harsher penalties and stricter supervision of the sector with annual premium earning of over a billion dollar. But they could not be enforced due to the absence of the authority.

BBN/SI/AD-27Jan11-9:22 am (BST)