Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today sought the opening of LIC’s Zonal Office (Tire-II) here and asked the Centre to meet the aspirations of the people in the state.
“I request you to consider establishment of an LIC Zonal Office at Bhubaneswar at the earliest to meet the long cherished aspirations of the LIC customers in Odisha,” he wrote to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Stating that the state government was making all out efforts to ensure 100 financial inclusion in Odisha in a time bound manner, he said one of the most important pillars of meaningful financial inclusion is the easy availiability of insurance products to the vulnerable sections of the society, specially people in the rural unorganised sector.
LIC, because of its brand equity, has tremendous potential to spread insurance and micro-insurance products at grassroot level in Odisha, Patnaik said adding “Unfortunately, however, it does not yet have a zonal office in the sate.”
Ever since bifurcation of LIC’s Zonal Office in Kolkata in 2006, Odisha is being served by its eastern central zonal office headquartered in Patna, he said.
As there are no direct flights or conveninent daily train services from Bhubaneswar to Patna, policy holders from Odisha particularly senior citizens, women, the physically challenged and those belonging to the BPL category are facing a lot of difficulties in communication with the Patna Zonal Office for redressal of their grievances.
“Hence, I feel, taking into account the business potential in Odisha, LIC should set up a separate zonal office at Bhubaneswar to cater to the needs of its expanding customer base in the state. To start with, a tire-II ZO can be opened immediately which can be upgraded to a regular ZO later,” Patnaik said in the letter.
Odisha government, he said, had already allotted five acres to LIC HFL Care Homes at nominal rates, in addition to one acre for the establishment of a new office.
Further there has not been any nomination from Odisha to the LIC Board since 1980 and it was high time that the anomaly was rectified so that the collective aspiration of the people of Odisha finds a voice in the highest decision making body of the organisation, Patnaik added.