Corporate India and public sector units are doing their bit in the relief efforts in the tsunami-ravaged areas. Not just in donations, but also in kind.
While several companies and banks are donating cash, airlines are operating special flights to evacuate people and transport relief material. The Life Insurance Corporation is making insurance claims a simpler process.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has announced a financial package to refinance loans made by banks for relief work.
HUDCO has floated a special loan scheme for reconstruction of property at a discounted rate of 6.5 per cent as against the normal rate of 7.5 per cent.
Among banks, the State Bank of India has donated Rs 10 crore, followed by the Bank of Baroda Rs 5 crore, Punjab National Bank Rs 5 crore and Bank of India Rs 2 crore, Union Bank of India Rs 2 crore. Deutsche Bank has taken the lead among the foreign banks by donating Rs 25 lakh.
The Madhya Pradesh government has sanctioned Rs 2 crore and ITC Rs 3 crore, Infosys Rs 5 crore. SCI has announced a donation of Rs 5 crore, while Bajaj Auto has given Rs 2 crore and LG Electronics Rs 35 lakh. Grand Hyatt has decided to donate a part of room rentals.
ICICI Bank will donate Rs 5 crore for disaster relief, while Godrej has pledged Rs 88 lakh.
The Tata group is sending relief teams from the Tata relief committee to the tsunami-affected areas to assess the damage and roll out relief measures.
Coca-Cola, in association with the Indian Red Cross Society, has made a provision of Kinley mineral water in AP (20,000 bottles), Tamil Nadu (40,000 bottles), Kerala (18,000 bottles) and Andamans ( 12,000 bottles).
The cola firm has also made a provision of 40,000 food packets, biscuits and bread in the relief camps across Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; provision of clothes and bedding for the needy in relief camps in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Airlines like Air-India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and the national carrier of UAE, Etihad Airways are offering to carry relief material to the affected people. They are also lining up to operate special flights to evacuate people from the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Individual employees are pitching in as well. The employees of Life Insurance Corporation, Air India, Punjab National Bank, Nabard, Bank of Baroda and BPL Mobile among others are donating one-day's salary to the victims of natural calamity.
Insurance giant, LIC will waive all investigations into death claims arising in the tsunami-stricken areas. It has also waived interest payment on delayed payment of premium for the next three months and will reduce the delayed interest payment for the following three months by 50 per cent.
LIC issued a circular to all its offices stating that proof of death could be any certificate issued by a government official, and has also empowered some agents to issue death certificates. LIC has also waived the need for any legal title in the event that a nomination has not been made.
The apex banking association, the Indian Banks' Association has asked all banks to accept donations from members of the public, institutions, trusts, corporates, etc. to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.
The branches of banks will remit the proceeds to the fund free of charge. Contributions will be acknowledged by the receiving banks pending issue of formal receipts by the Prime Minister's office.
The US-India Business Council has expressed sympathy with the victims of Sunday's massive earthquake and the resulting tidal waves and has offered its assistance in raising resources for relief efforts.
In a communication to the India embassy, Ron Somers, USIBC's new President, said: "Please know that the United States India business Council extends its prayers and sympathies to those affected. We look forward to assisting in any way we can in raising resources for relief efforts to offer help and support."
A press release issued by the USIBC said that while the government has not formally requested external assistance to support them on relief efforts, "they are thankful for the concern expressed by USIBC member companies."
Oil PSUs donate Rs 55 crore
Public sector oil companies have donated Rs 55 crore towards relief and rehabilitation of tsunami victims. ONGC and IOC have given Rs 15 crore each to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund, while BPCL and HPCL will contribute Rs 7.5 crore each.
GAIL will donate Rs 5 crore while Chennai-based CPCL and Kochi Refineries Ltd will give Rs 2.5 crore each. Aiyar, who is camping in Tamil Nadu ever since the devastating tsunami tidal waves struck the east coast of India, said oil companies have also provided other relief material like medical teams with ambulances, tents/clothes, fuel for vehicles and food packets.
Cairn Energy of UK has also donated Rs 1 crore to the PM's Relief Fund.
Rs 8.7 cr insurance claims in Chennai
The tsunami has cost general insurers in the city about Rs 8.7 crore till now. However, a complete picture will emerge only after January.
"It will at least take another two weeks to estimate the total claims arising of the tsunami incident. So far we have received claims worth Rs 5 crore mainly from a marine portfolio," a senior official from Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company said.
Claims arising from the tsunami damage, he believed, will be comparatively small. The worst-affected along the eastern coast are areas where people below the poverty line were living. For instance, in Chennai, most of the fishing boats were not insured, he said.
Arun Agarwal, CEO, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited, said the company has received 11 claims of about Rs 2.5 crore from all insurance portfolios.
It was difficult to quantify the claims received by the public insurer as most of the claims were below Rs 50 lakh and only one claim was about Rs 2 crore, Chennai-based general insurer United India Insurance Co Ltd, CMD, K Garg, said.
Royal Sundaram said it had so far received about Rs 75 lakh worth of claims in the past two days.
Garg as well as Agarwal said that the claims was not likely to impact their profits as the insurers duly taken reinsurance.
The insurers also hope that the December 26 tsunami will encourage more mid-sized corporates to take a full insurance cover.
"To save on high premiums, corporates as well as individuals do not take a full cover of the fire portfolio," Garg pointed out.
The Royal Sundaram official said if a traditional fire cover was taken, a property is insured against floods, but for earthquake, a special cover wasrequired. To take advantage of a rebate, most corporates and individuals do not take the flood cover, he said.
With inputs from Business Standard