An hour-long protest was held by the employee unions of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) yesterday, to express their disapproval of the Government’s decision to sell part of its holding in LIC through an initial public offering (IPO).
The unions had earlier staged agitations on 3 February during lunch time, for an hour, and repeated the same exercise on 4 February too.
The Federation of LIC Class-I Officers’ Associations, the National Federation of Insurance Field Workers of India and the All India Insurance Employees Association came together to protest the decision of the Government, which was revealed during the Budget speech. The three trade unions represent around 90 per cent of LIC’s total workforce, whose strength was about 2.85 lakh employees in March, 2019.
The unions are of the opinion that listing of LIC will go against national interest because the Corporation actually plays a significant role in “nation-building activities”. Since LIC aims to provide affordable insurance cover to the economically backward classes, they feel that privatising LIC will rattle the common public and actually dilute financial power. Instead of being a corporation dedicated to serving the common man, privatisation will turn it into a profit-making institution.
However, the Government argues that by listing LIC, a higher level of transparency will be brought about along with better public participation. The Government of course is confident that the move will be in the interest of LIC and its policyholders.