SILCHAR, Dec 23: LIC will consider opening of new branches in Northeast in view of the improving law and order situation in the region and growing public patronage. This was indicated by Zonal Manager of LIC Eastern Zone RR Das at Kolkata while addressing the meet of the heads of the departments of various wings of the corporation and Zonel advisory committee members recently. His statement on the subject was in response to the queries from members of the Northeast who wanted to know about the expansion of business by LIC in the region.
Silchar division covers, besides Barak Valley and North Cachar Hills, the States of Manipur Mizoram and Tripura which have in all three main branches and 11 satellite offices. Mizoram and North Cachar Hills have one branch each, located at Aizawl and Haflong. Mizoram being the most peaceful State in the region, two more branches or satellite offices could be considered for the growing townships of Lunglei and Champai while equal number of satellite offices could also be taken its account in order to expand its business in North Cachar Hills where normalcy has returned with the surrender of extremist groups.
Quite significantly, despite the spectre of insurgency, Haflong, Imphal, Kakching and Udaipur and all the other offices, main and satellite, under Silchar division have done good business, according to the report of the Zonal Inspection Committee (ZIC) for 2009-10. It was pointed out by the Zonal advisory committee members that, it would be wrong to project Northeast as “disturbed” or “turbulent.” Most of the militant outfits are either in peace-process or preparing to surrender.
Besides, the report of ZIC indicates militancy has in no way affected LIC business in the region. Kakching in the highly volatile Manipur and Udaipur in Tripura have been graded “excellent” for their performance.
Involvement of LIC, the most trusted brand in insurance business, in widening its network in Northeast would send positive signals as it would create employment opportunities for the educated unemployed and even wean them away from being “misguided.”
In all, 55 branches and satellite offices are functioning in the entire Northeast and more branches have been suggested for Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya. The existing branches at Itanagar, Passighat, Kohima, Mokukchung, Shillong, Jowai and Tura in the three States, according to ZIC report, have received appreciation for their performance. LIC should explore the possibility of extending its business in potential areas of the three States, members further suggested. THE SENTINEL