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LIC unions against stake sale, to protest

K Ram Kumar Mumbai | Updated on February 02, 2020 Published on February 02, 2020

Wealth generator On the government’s investment of ₹5 crore, LIC gave it a dividend of ₹2,600 crore last year. An IPO of the insurance behemoth, among the key Budget proposals, has raised the hackles of its nearly 2.85 lakh employees   -  Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The insurer is profitable, has assets of ₹31-lakh crore; why hand over such wealth to corporates, ask employees

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement in the Budget that the Government will sell a part of its holding in the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) via an Initial Public Offer (IPO) has not gone down well with the three major trade unions in the life insurance behemoth. They have decided to jointly embark on a series of agitations to protest against this decision.

Series of protests

As an initial reaction to this part disinvestment announcement in the Union Budget, the Joint Forum of three major trade unions in LIC has decided to demonstrate before all offices of the Corporation across the country on Monday during lunch- break, followed by one-hour protest strike (walk-out) on Tuesday prior to lunch-break.

Profit making

The Joint Forum, comprising the Federation of LIC Class-I Officers’ Associations, the National Federation of Insurance Field Workers of India and the All India Insurance Employees Association, represents almost 90 per cent of the workforce in LIC.

As at March-end 2019, LIC had 2.85 lakh employees.

“We are totally against it (the offer for sale of equity shares by the Government via IPO). Why should LIC go for an IPO when it is a very profit making organisation? On Government’s investment of ₹5 crore, LIC has given it a dividend of ₹2,600 crore last year.

“Whenever the government wants funds, we provide the same for infrastructure development, social sector and housing.

By listing LIC, it is killing the golden goose,” said S Rajkumar, General Secretary, Federation of LIC Class-I Officers’ Associations.

Besides the protests on February 3rd and 4th, the Joint Forum will also contemplate a one-day strike later.

Giving away assets

Rajkumar said: “We have created wealth for the country. Our assets are valued at ₹31 lakh crore. This is at book value. So, our actual valuation will be 10 times that.

“By listing, this corpus, which has been assiduously built up through public money over the last 60 years, will be simply handed over to the corporates. This is the tragedy of disinvestment.”

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Published on February 02, 2020
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