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Wednesday, Dec 29, 2004

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LIC simplifies death claim forms for tsunami victims — Nabard aid for rural housing, fisherfolk

Our Bureau

Chennai , Dec. 28

BANKS and insurance companies are chipping in with special financial packages to assist those affected by the tsunami that hit the east coast on Sunday.

According to a press release from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, it has put together a package for rural housing and the marine sector.

Under this special package, Nabard will provide 100 per cent refinance to all categories of banks irrespective of loan amount.

The refinance will be at a special concessional rate of 4.25 per cent to help banks extend loans to the affected at 7 per cent.

It will provide 3 - 5 year investment finance to help fishermen purchase boats, engines, nets and other fishing gear.

To those affected by the disaster, it will provide refinance support to restructure or reschedule loans for 5 - 9 year period.

Life Insurance Corporation of India has said that it will ensure speedy settlement of claims. It has set up help desks in 12 divisional and 261 branch offices in the southern zone.

The concessions include simplified death claim forms with proof of death in the form of a certificate issued by any government machinery or a certification by select agents such as zonal managers, chairman's club members in the area or the development officer.

LIC will not insist on paper work such as police report, hospital records for settlement of double accident benefit.

It will issue duplicate policies free-of-cost on the basis of an indemnity bond if they have been destroyed, the release said.

Indian Bank plans to launch exclusive housing loans and consumption loans immediately, a release said.

It has contributed Rs 2 crore to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund and its staffers would contribute a day's salary totalling about Rs one crore.

Indian Bank has also assisted in the relief operations in coordination with the local government machinery by distributing food packets, rice, milk powder and other essentials.

Lakshmi Vilas Bank has announced that it would not collect service charges to issue demand drafts for donations to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund and the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.

Our Mumbai Bureau reports: The District Development Managers of Nabard posted in the affected districts have been requested to keep in close liaison and assist the district administration/banks in maintaining credit flow.

Employees of Nabard have decided to donate one day's salary to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund for the victims.

Nabard is keeping a continuous watch over the situation and would come out with further suitable schemes, if required, to ameliorate the suffering of tsunami-affected people, once decisions of the Special State Level Bankers Committee meetings being convened for the purpose, are available, said a Nabard release.

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