Wednesday, December 6, 2017

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Role of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) In India

Role of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) In India:

The activities of the LIC can be broadly classified into two categories. First, it mobilizes long-term contractual savings. Its policy-holders view the LIC as a trustee of their funds, a source of emergency fund to guard against any financial misfortune and a way to accumulates funds by the time of retirement from work. As an agency it is designed to the inculcation of savings for the sake of rainy days.

During the last forty years of its operations, there has been concentration of colossal funds in hands of this monolithic state owned corporation. The resources thus obtained by the LIC from policy-holders are invested in diverse ways for different purposes. Basically LIC is an investment institution. It is a big investor of funds in government marketable securities.

Since April, 1975 the amended Section 27A of the Insurance Act, 1938 the LIC is required to invest to not less than 50% of its accruals of premium income in government marketable securities. Of this not less than 25% in central government securities. Besides it has to give loans to approved authorities like electricity boards or state government for socially oriented schemes like electricity, housing, water supply etc. These loans and investments should not exceed 87.5 percent of accretion to the controlled fund of the LIC.

finance
[Post Image Courtesy of Kromkrathog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

The remaining 12.5 percent can be made to the private sector directly in the form of purchase of shares and debentures. Besides it grants loans to the private corporate sector and finances projects by subscribing shares and debentures of private industries. Its contribution to financing of industries in the private corporate sector is also indirect. The investment in the share capital and bonds of IFCI, SFCs, UTI and IDBI flow back to private sector in the form of direct loans. The LIC is also engaged in underwriting new issues.

The LIC plays an important role in the securities market in India. It purchases even when the market is dull (bearish) and prices are low in order to reap the benefit of future price appreciation. Nor does it usually sell shares from its stock when the market is at higher prices.

Although Income Tax concessions provide incentive to higher income groups through LIC policies, the insuring public does not get the real value of its long-term savings because of chronic inflation. Barring risk coverage, the rate of return offered by LIC is much lower compared to other savings media. It is true LIC has grown at a fast speed yet it can grow at a faster rate if it can make the message of life insurance more attractive by its operational efficiency and innovative attitude.

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