LIC Jeevan Ankur is new addition to its existing bouquet of eight child plans. It offers inbuilt income benefit in case of death of the policyholder, paying 10% of the sum assured every year till the end of the policy term
LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India) has launched Jeevan Ankur, a traditional child plan offering single or regular premium option. In case of death of the policyholder, it pays sum assured (SA) to the nominee, 10% of the SA payable every year till end of policy term as income benefit and maturity benefit of SA along with loyalty bonus, if declared. If the policyholder survives the policy term, the product will pay maturity benefit of SA along with loyalty bonus, if declared.
Traditional child plans are popular due to secured returns, even if they are low. This is due to the appeal that parents are setting aside money for safe investment as well as covering the risk in case of their absence. Waiver of Premium (WoP) is a main feature of a child plan wherein future premiums are waived off by the insurer upon death of the policyholder. The policy continues till the end paying the maturity benefits. WoP comes at a price, which is reflected in the premium paid by the policyholder. The income benefit of 10% of SA paid every year on death of policyholder also comes at a price. Being a traditional plan, charge for WoP, charge for income benefit or any other policy charges are opaque to the customer. The customer has to pay for the risk cover and all the benefits offered by the insurer. There are no free lunches. What is transparent in a traditional plan is the premium and benefits of the product.
The annual premium for 35-year old person paying premium for 25 years and SA of Rs1 lakh is Rs3,587 (exclusive of service tax). Over the policy term, the customer will pay total premium of Rs89,675. The guaranteed payment on maturity is Rs1 lakh plus non-guaranteed bonus. Customers will hope for good bonus, considering track record of LIC. While it may not seem to be great savings instrument for child financial planning due to high dependency on decent bonus, the insurance component of the product is beneficial in case of untimely death of the customer. E.g. If the policyholder dies after 10 years, the total premium payment will be Rs35,870 (exclusive of service tax). LIC will pay Rs1 lakh to nominee, 10% of SA (Rs10,000 in this example) every year till end of policy term and maturity benefit of Rs1 lakh plus non-guaranteed bonus. In this example, the nominee is assured total benefit of Rs3 lakh plus non-guaranteed bonus.
The product offers optional riders of critical illness and accidental death benefit. There is no loan facility under this plan. Premium payment can be monthly (ECS only), quarterly, half-yearly (1% premium rebate) and yearly (2% premium rebate). The product also offers high SA rebate. For A single premium option with SA of Rs2 lakh to Rs4.95 lakh, the rebate will be 4% of SA; Rs5 lakh and above SA, rebate will be 6% of SA. For regular premium option with SA of Rs2 lakh to Rs4.95 lakh, the rebate will be 2% of SA; for Rs5 lakh and above SA, the rebate will be 3% of SA.
The minimum and maximum age of policyholder can be 18 and 50 years, respectively. Maximum maturity age is 75 years. Minimum and maximum age of child is 0 and 17 years. The minimum policy term is higher of 18 minus age of child and 8 years. The maximum policy term is 25 minus age of the child. The minimum SA is Rs1 lakh while there is no upper limit.
New child plans (traditional and ULIP) are being rapidly launched by insurance companies. It is one of few segments doing reasonable business in the face of declining new business premium collection for life insurers.
Nifty may move in the range of 4,980 and 5,100
Lack of any cues from Asia and nervousness ahead of the RBI’s monetary policy resulted in the market closing flat with a mixed bias. Although the Nifty couldn’t maintain the trend of the past four trading days of making a higher high, it managed to make a higher low. The uptrend may soon loose its steam. For now, the index may be seen moving in the range of 4,980 and 5,100. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 62.77 crore shares.
The market opened lower as nervousness set in, a day ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) quarterly monetary policy review. Besides, a 13.6% decline in Reliance Industries’ (RIL) third quarter net profit and lack of cues from the Asian region also added to the sluggishness. The Nifty opened 24 points at 5,025 and the Sensex lost 72 points to resume trade at 16,667. Oil and gas, capital goods and metals stocks witnessed selling pressure in early trade.
The market was rang-bound amid low volume trade in the morning session as most markets in Asia remained closed for the Lunar New Year. Selling pressure in late morning trade following mixed quarterly results from domestic corporates pushed the indices in the negative. The market fell to its intraday low at around 12.25pm with the Nifty touching 5,021 and the Sensex dropping to 16,659.
The benchmarks hit the day’s high in post-noon trade on select buying by institutional investors. At the highs, the Nifty rose to 5,060 and the Sensex touched 16,784. Coming off the day’s highs, the market was sideways in late trade in the absence of any major triggers. The market closed flat with a mixed bias with the Nifty shedding two points to finish trade at 5,046 and the Sensex gaining 13 points to 16,752.
The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was almost balanced at 877:859.
The broader indices witnessed also a flat close with the BSE Mid-cap index adding 0.06% and the BSE Small-cap index rising 0.27%.
The top sectoral indices were BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.83%); BSE Realty (up 0.82%); BSE TECk (up 0.81%); BSE Capital Goods (up 0.77%) and BSE Power (up 0.73%). BSE Metal (down 2.06%); BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.66%); BSE Consumer Durables (down 0.53%); BSE PSU (down 0.15%) and BSE Healthcare (down 0.10%) ended as losers in the sectoral space.
Maruti Suzuki (up 5.77%); Bharti Airtel (up 3.03%); BHEL (up 2.69%); DLF (up 2.50%) and ICICI Bank (up 1.80%) were the key performers on the Sensex. The major losers were Sterlite Industries (down 5.36%); Hindalco Industries (down 4.29%); Hero MotoCorp (down 4.11%); Reliance Industries (down 2.82%) and Coal India (down 2.73%) were the top losers on the index.
The Nifty was led by Maruti Suzuki (up 5.75%); BHEL (up 2.94%); DLF (up 2.92%); Bharti Airtel (up 2.82%) and ITC (up 1.81%). Sterlite Ind (down 6.01%); Hindalco Ind (down 4.91%); Hero MotoCorp (down 4.18%); Kotak Bank (down 3.98%) and Coal India (down 3.19%) settled at the bottom of the index.
Markets in Asia, except the Japanese Nikkei 225, were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays. The Japanese benchmark settled lower (down 0.01%) as the Greek government and its creditors failed to reach an agreement to stave off a default.
Meanwhile, European finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today to draw up a long-term plan to find a solution to the continent’s debt crisis. At the time of writing, the key European indices were mostly lower and the US stocks futures were trading in the negative.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs819.84 crore on Friday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities aggregating Rs614.79 crore.
State-run NTPC expects to sign a joint venture agreement for the 1,320-Mw Khulna power project in Bangladesh by the end of this month. NTPC and Bangladesh Power Development Board ((BPDB) had signed a MoU in August last year to establish two thermal power projects at Chittagong and Khulna for mitigating the power shortages in the neighbouring nation. NTPC lost 0.29% to settle at Rs174 on the NSE.
Infrastructure major KEC today said it has secured two orders worth Rs371 crore for construction of transmission lines in Gujarat and West Bengal. The first order, valued at Rs 258 crore, has been received from Power Grid Corporation of India while the second order valued at Rs113 crore has been received from Haldia Energy, a subsidiary of CESC. KEC closed at Rs53.15 on the NSE, up 2.61% over its previous close.
UCO Bank has entered into a strategic tie-up with National Collateral Management Services (NCMSL), a major agriculture-infrastructure provider for collateral management and warehousing services. The main objective of this tie-up is to assist industries, traders and farmers in financing their capital requirements at all stages of the supply chain. The stock gained 2.10% to close at Rs63.25 on the NSE.
Experts from the industry remain divided on the issue of health hazards caused due to radiation from mobile towers
With the increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world, the effect of radiation from mobile phones and towers on human health is the subject of recent interest and study. While industry players continue to assure us that these towers do not pose any risk to human lives, academicians and scientists have a different opinion on the subject.
“Neither I am against mobile phone towers nor am I against the service providers. I am also not saying the norms (for mobile tower radiation) have been flouted. All I am asking is to reduce the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) level of these towers. I have problem with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for adopting the worst radiation norms in India,” said Prof Girish Kumar. He was speaking at a meeting organised by Bombay Telephone Users’ Association (BTUA) on mobile tower radiation and green telecom, in Mumbai.
While Prof Kumar cited studies explaining various health hazards due to mobile tower radiation on human and wildlife, another panellist Rajan Mathews, director-general Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), also citing numerous research and studies, counter argued saying that the radiation norms are within safety limit. “There is no conclusive evidence to show that mobile tower radiation is carcinogenic. The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (INCRP) guidelines are within safety limit and there is no ill-effect on biological health,” Mr Matthews said.
In India, the radiation norms have been adopted according to the INCRP for base station emission with 9.2 watt per square meter (W/sqm). Across the globe, several countries have adopted their own standards as nobody really knows what level of mobile tower radiation is safe and what is dangerous. Countries like Austria have a strictest norm of 0.001W/sqm and China has 0.4W/sqm.
However experts say that these guidelines are questionable. Prof Kumar said, “The guidelines clearly say that it is to protect against the short-term gross heating with average of over six minute per day. But here in India, it is adopted for 24 hours. We are just making mockery of the INCRP guidelines. A simple calculation shows that the practice followed in India under the INCRP guidelines is more or equal to putting someone in a microwave for 19 minutes.”
Explaining the biological hazards of these radiations, Prof Kumar said that there have been cases of people from one particular apartment, continuously exposed to radiation due to tower installed opposite to them, developing cancer. “This is not a coincidence. In fact the cancer is in the last stage. There are short-term hazards like memory loss, irritation, drying of fluids around the eyes, brain joints, heart and abdomen, cardiovascular diseases, sleep disruption, if exposed to these radiations for long-term.”
According to Prof Kumar, there are studies providing the ill-effects of EMR on wildlife and bees. He also cited an example of a tree near Delhi-Gurgaon toll naka, which saw steady decline in lime production due to its constant exposure to the cell phone tower. However, Mr Matthews, citing various reports such as Interphone study conducted in May 2010, refuted studies stating that these are health hazards.
“Many years back I was personally invited to set up wireless communication in one of the hospitals of California. For the record, California has strictest rules and it is impossible for them to allow it if there is any health hazards. Since then, the usage in that hospital has increased and not otherwise,” he said.
According to Prof Kumar, many studies on the ill effects of mobile tower radiation concludes that further research is required, but there is enough evidence to prove. “Interphone study concluded that there is no overall increase in risk but it suggested increase in glioma for heavy users. Blackberry gives a warning message that says use the mobile phone keeping 25mm away from the body, don’t keep it next to the abdomen of pregnant women, and reduce the amount spent on calls. Why could a mobile phone company ask to reduce the time on calls? Because they know that there is a problem.”
Following the public outcry against the ill-effects of radiation emission, the Indian government had set up an inter-ministerial group in August 2010 to evaluate the evidence, revisit radiation guidelines for mobile towers and adopt guidelines for radiation emission by cell phones.
The committee submitted its recommendations in January last year. It suggested that EMR from the cell phones should be brought down by one-tenth of the existing levels and also said that there should be provisions for continuous online monitoring and display of radiation levels.
“In fact the inter-ministerial committee reviewed 919 studies of which 539 said that there is an impact of the EMR,” Prof Kumar said.
“On immediate basis the emission should be reduced to 0.01W/sqm. This might result in high call drop out rates. Then in one to two years’ time, it should be further brought down to 0.001W/sqm. This will require investment and as per my analysis on the return on investment for the operators, they can increase the cost per minute by 0.10 per minute. The government should also be proactive in giving subsidies and reducing the license fees for the service providers,” the professor added.