Describing Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) as "best-known Indian brand" and the "world's largest company," Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday, launched two new initiatives on behalf of the Corporation designed for the poor and medically unfit.
Speaking on the launch function of 'Jeevan Madhur' - a micro insurance product, Chidambaram said, LIC ever since its inception, has played a pioneering role for social development and meeting the needs of underpriveleged.
The two initiatives are - a Rs 50 lakh fund for cochlear transplant and a trust floated by the LIC - LIC Golden Jubilee Foundation - for promoting education, medical facilities and the like among poor families.
Chidambaram lauded the role of the LIC in remaining a front-ranking insurance company and said, despite the entry of private players in the field, it has a market share of 77.5 per cent. Its growth in premium income has been 82 per cent. "LIC has become stronger under competition," Chidambaram remarked.
The Finance Minister said, LIC has the largest asset base, which was about Rs 55,244,47 crore. Its investment in government securities is about Rs 2,36,959 crore.
The new insurance product was launched by President APJ Abdul Kalam, who asked the Corporation to give a renewed rural thrust to insurance.
The President handed over bonds to the first six policy-holders. Among others who were present on the occasion were Minister of State for Revenue Pallaninmanickam and Union Special Secretary for Finance Vinod Rai.
LIC Chairman TS Vijayan said, the policy will mark the beginning of a massive intervention to curb financial risk exclusion. The policy is simple to understand and comes with an affordable premium as low as Rs 100 a month.
"We expect this initiative to enhance the penetration of insurance and help extend coverage to people who need insurance the most," Vijayan said.