By Nitesh Tiwari, Associate
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (“IRDA”) has issued directions to all Third Party Administrators (“TPA”) to procure Class II or Class III Digital Signatures (“DS”) to enable web-based online submission of applications by companies for grant of new or renewal of existing TPA licenses through a circular dated December 24, 2012 being circular number IRDA/HTL/MISC/CIR/263/12/2012 ( the “Circular”). This would also enable the TPA to submit to submit forms, returns, documents etc. online in the soft copy format with the DS of Chief Executive Officers (“CEOs”) and Chief Administrative Officers (“CAOs”) as required under the IRDA (TPA – Health Services) Rules, 2001. In furtherance of the above, the TPA with existing licenses are directed to make requisite arrangements to procure DS for their concerned CEOs and CAOs from such agencies as authorized by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (“DSCs”). It is further clarified that, in case a TPA already posses a DS for the purpose of filing income-tax returns, MCA – 21 forms etc., such DS can be used for the purpose of IRDA returns application. The DS, once procured by the TPA is required to be renewed from time to time in accordance with the existing guidelines pertaining in this regard. The Annexure I (the “Annexure”) annexed to the Circular explains the nature of DS and elaborates upon the features of DS. The Annexure further lists the certification agencies authorized by the MCA to issue and certify DSCs and approximate fees to be paid for procuring the DSCs from such agencies.
This is a welcome development as it is expected to reduce paper work and expedite the procedure for licensing application.