India's terrorism backstop is seeking a substantial increase in funding to deal with increased threat levels.
The $129m Indian Terrorism Pool is likely to be increased substantially following rising threats. Analysts said that, although India had not witnessed any large-scale assault like the 9/11 attacks on the US, it has continuously been a target for terrorists. The fund, therefore, needed to be strengthened to handle any such incident, they felt.
The fund had been set up jointly in 2001 by public and private insurance companies, and is being managed by the national reinsurer, General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC). It had an initial funding of Rs2bn after the 9/11 incident. Although the corpus has grown by about Rs1bn every year since, companies are looking at a possibility of increasing it by a substantial amount.
Industry sources said there was pressure on insurance companies to increase the funding with terror attacks rising across the globe. “Insurance companies feel they need more in the terror pool,” said a senior official of the Delhi-based Oriental Insurance Company. “While talks are on, no concrete decision has yet been taken.”
Various intelligence reports have indicated that India is vulnerable to terror attacks. Last October, Delhi's crowded market places were torn by a series of blasts during the Hindu festival of Diwali. There are reports that Bangalore, India's information technology hub, is also on the hit-list.