Kolkata, Dec 30 (PTI) The life insurance industry's growth in the current fiscal is likely to stay flat amid sharp traction seen in the protection business and Rs 5 lakh income tax exemption will have a short term negative impact, a top life insurance official said on Wednesday.

In the private sector players, the additional premium income saw a de-growth of four per cent in the first half of the fiscal while some companies attained healthy growth.

Companies that could offer complete digital onboarding and servicing platforms immediately grew, he said.

"This has been an unprecedented year. The industry is likely to remain flattish. However, we will stay ahead of the industry. In the first half our additional premium had grown by 16 per cent," Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance MD & CEO G Murlidhar said.

The company was keeping its fingers crossed despite the last quarter (January-March) is typically best for insurance firms for their tax planning. However, companies remain unsure about this year's behaviour after the government had allowed complete tax exemption for up to Rs 5 lakh income.

Murlidhar said this will not be an impediment for growth in the long run and he expects GDP of the country to stay at 7-8 per cent growth in the next five years.

With Rs 3,700 crore net worth the Kotak Mahindra owned company was not looking at an IPO to raise capital and said it was well capitalised to meet capital for the next few years.

The asset under management is close to Rs 40,000 crore.