Tuesday, February 22, 2011

THE HINDU- 09 02 2011

Withdraw LIC amendment Bill,

urge employees' union

Special Correspondent

It is opposing the bill in national interest

MADURAI: The Union Government should withdraw the LIC of India amendment Bill, which is likely to be tabled in Parliament, said Insurance Corporation Employees' Union (ICEU) southern region secretary K. Swaminathan here on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, he said that campaigns and sensitisation programmes among general public and employee-members were being carried out region-wise to protect public sector undertakings. The demerits of foreign direct investment in the insurance sector were also being discussed.

The Standing Committee (Finance) in Parliament, which comprises members from different political parties, had been apprised of the consequences of enhancement of the percentage of FDI through signature and post-card campaigns. “We are strongly opposing it in the national interest,” Mr. Swaminathan reiterated.

In the current fiscal, as on January 2011, 2.50 crore LIC policies had been taken/issued to public at the all India level and it was expected to surpass last year's (2009-10) issuance of 3.50 crore policies. The claim settlement in the LIC of India was 99.86 per cent, which was widely appreciated in the industry.

Role of technology

He clarified that the employees and trade unions recognised the role of technology in a competitive environment being introduced in the insurance sector. The LIC of India focussed more on upgrading its technology, he responded.

Despite recession and presence of technology, there had been no VRS or redundancy, he said. The LIC of India was playing a major role in mobilising domestic savings and its role in infrastructure building was commendable. Under such circumstances, the proposal to enhance foreign investment should be discouraged and that the amendment Bill should be dropped.

Mr. Swaminathan recalled the grim situation experienced in the Western countries a couple of years ago and hoped the government would withdraw the Bill in the larger national interest immediately.

In southern region, which comprises Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, there are 250 centres. The association office-bearers had been addressing the members and general public on the nuances of public undertakings such as LIC of India, he said and added that they would join the Indian trade unions in the “march to Parliament” on February 23 in New Delhi.

Later, he addressed the association members at the union premises in the city.

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