Daily Archives: April 2, 2012

DLF Pramerica aims to tap rural areas in eastern states

In its endeavour to expand beyond northern India and tap rural customer base, the fledgling DLF Pramerica Life Insurance (DPLI), a 74:26 joint venture between DLF and Prudential International Insurance Holdings, a fully owned subsidiary of Prudential Financial, the US-based financial services leader, will now reach out to over 18 lakh households in 250 villages in eastern India, mostly across West Bengal, Orissa and Assam.

The company, which operates through 41 branch offices and 88 branch units across Delhi NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and partly Gujarat, has recently marked its footprint in Kolkata and is now keen on moving into tier-II, tier-III cities and even deeper.

The company has drawn up elaborate plans to reach out to people in far-flung areas through a programme called ‘Bima Jagrukta Abhiyan,’ which is a month-long insurance awareness campaign that seeks to generate awareness about the need and benefits of life insurance among rural customers.

“Through our initiative of Bima Jagrukta Abhiyan, we aim to reach out to a large number of rural households to educate them about the importance of life insurance and simultaneously also to make our products easily accessible to them,” Pavan Dhamija, MD and CEO of DPLI, said.

“The protection that life insurance offers is extremely important for the financial security and well-being of the family. It is unfortunate that large population of people residing in rural India has little knowledge of or access to life insurance,” he said.

As per the plan, the company will cover 100 villages in 16 districts in Orissa including Cuttack, Jagatsinghapur, Puri, Khordha, Nayagarh, Kandhamal, Balangir, Kalahandi, Naupada, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Boudh, Sonepur, Koraput, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur.

In West Bengal, the company will touch upon 100 villages in the districts of Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Malda, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, West Midnapore, East Midnapore, Burdwan, Bankura, Purulia, Hoogly, Nadia, Mushirdabad and Coochbehar. And in Assam, the programme will cover 50 villages in the 12 districts of Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Chirrang, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, Goalpara, Sontipur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Sibsaga and Tinsukia, he said.

Branded mobile vans will travel through these villages with simple and direct messages. Besides, skits, street plays and interactive games will be used to draw attention of people and encourage them to find out more about life insurance and what it can do for the long-term financial security for themselves and their families. All communication will be kept simple so that the rural population finds it easy to understand and act upon.

Naveen government has misused Land Acquisition Act, says CAG

The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India has found that the Naveen Patnaik government has ‘misused’ the Land Acquisition Act for acquiring land for several big industrial projects, including the proposed mega steel plant by South Korean steel major Posco.

“Emergency Provisions of Section 17 (4) were misused and applied arbitrarily even without indicating detailed justification for the same and without fulfilment of prescribed conditions,” the CAG has stated.

The CAG report was tabled in the Odisha Assembly on Thursday.

According to the CAG, under the Act, the government is empowered to acquire land in case of urgency, invoking provisions prescribed in Section 17 (4), without giving land losers the opportunity to contest the propriety of the acquisition and the opportunity to be heard as per Section 5 A of the Act.

Such acquisitions are to be made for a specific purpose, subject to fulfilment of prescribed conditions and the acquisition process is to be completed within six months, the report says.

There can never be denial of citizens’ rights under the garb of urgency or necessity.

“An examination of 85 land acquisition cases, in which provisions of Section 17 (4) of the Land Acquisition Act were invoked by the government, revealed that 4,967.08 acres of private land valued at Rs. 165 crore (approximately the present market value is Rs. 901.305 crore) was acquired, between July 2002 and March 2011, for establishments by six promoters,” says the CAG report.

The six companies are Posco (India) Limited in Jagatsinghpur, Vedanta Alumina Limited in Kalahandi, Dhamra Port Company Limited in Bhadrak and Aditya Aluminium Limited, Bhusan Power and Steel Limited and Viraj Steel and Energy Limited in Sambalpur district.

“It was noticed that none of the conditions prescribed in executive instructions of September 1985 for invoking the emergency provisions was fulfilled in all these cases. Instead of giving detailed justification for applying such provision, only general remarks like ‘the project is being executed on a priority basis’, ‘requirement of land was emergent in nature’ were indicated in the applications by the requisitioning officers,” it says. Also, the State government invoked emergency provisions for acquiring 437.86 acres for Posco projects.


Mohapatra said that the Nodal officers in each district are working out to select the Nodal centers in each of the districts in consultation with Board and District administration. ?At least 12 to 15 examination centers would come under each Nodal center, which would ensure that the question papers reach the centers one day in advance under strict police escort?, the BSE secretary informed.   A training camp of coordinators and CIs, who would act as Nodal officers would be held here on April 3, he added.

Meanwhile, BSE officials heaved a sigh of relief as the matriculation examinations for Ex-Regular and Sanskrit (Madhyama) students ended yesterday peacefully. These exams had commenced from March 19 along with Regular students. While examinations for Regular students were suspended on March 21, other examinations continued as per schedule.          Sources however, said that at least 3400 students from nearly 54000 Ex-Regular students were booked for malpractices after they were caught resorting to unfair means during the examinations. Maximum number of malpractice cases was booked in Sambalpur district while Puri district recorded the least.