THE TIMES OF INDIA
LIC settles claims faster than pvt insurers: Meena
TNN, Oct 28, 2010, 09.40pm IST
NAGPUR: Public sector insurance behemoth Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) leaves the private insurers much behind when it comes to
promptness in settlement of claims. "The private players may be prompt in selling their products but are not as efficient as LIC when it comes to
settle the claims and need to improve on this front," said the union minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena. He was addressing a meeting
to mark the golden jubilee of LIC Agents Association's Nagpur unit.
Meena, who holds the charge of insurance and banking departments in the ministry, said LIC did not make claimants run from pillar to post for
getting the settlement. "This only indicates transparency in the functioning of public sector organisation," said Meena, indirectly flaying the private
sector insurance companies. He added that still a large section of population needed to be covered by banking and bringing them into the banking
fold remained a top priority of the ministry.
Later, speaking at an interactive meet organised by the Nag Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce (NVCC), Meena said the government was aiming to
extend banking facilities to 73,000 villages by March 2012. He said there were 1 lakh villages with a population of over 2,000 and only around
37,000 had access to bank branches. The remaining would be covered under the financial inclusion scheme of the government. This target was set
in this year's budget.
Meena said the villages would be provided services by individuals appointed as 'banking correspondents'. They would be having small mobile
ATMS through which they would collect and distribute money. The accounts would be maintained in a regular branch of respective banks. It is
expected the entire six lakh villages of the country would be covered by March 2013.
The financial inclusion scheme was initiated around four years ago. Meena said the project was now being taken up on a full swing. The government
had also set a target to open 5,000 bank branches each year. However, even these would not be enough to cover each and every village and banking
correspondents would still be needed. "It is strange that number of people covered by any kind banking service is much lower than those using cell
phones. There are 70 crore cell phones in country while only 40 crore individuals have a bank account," said the minister.
Meena said the government had also initiated a pension scheme for the unorganised sector and aimed to cover 10 lakh workers under it. It was for
such workers not covered under any other pension scheme. He accepted that there was relatively milder response to the New Pension Scheme from
people other than government servants. The tax sop made available in the direct tax code bill was expected to bring some funds to NPS, he said.