LIC IPO: Employee unions hold strike against Modi govt's stake sale plans
BusinessToday.In February 4, 2020
LIC IPO news: Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) employee unions staged an hour-long protest strike (walk-out) on Tuesday to protest against the government's decision to sell part of its holding in the life insurer through an initial public offering (IPO).
The three major trade unions of LIC demonstrated before all offices of the life insurance behemoth across the country.
"As an immediate reaction to the proposal to list LIC, All India LIC Employees Federation will hold one-hour walk-out strike on 4 February," the union said in a statement.
The unions, which staged agitations on Monday during lunch break, held an hour-long protest strike on Tuesday as well.
The joint forum of LIC's (three) major trade unions -- Federation of LIC Class-I Officers' Associations, National Federation of Insurance Field Workers of India and All India Insurance Employees Association -- took the decision following Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's announcement to divest a part of the government's holding in LIC in her Budget 2020 speech.
The three trade unions represent around 90 per cent of the life insurer's total workforce. LIC had 2.85 lakh employees as of March-end 2019.
Listing of LIC is against national interest as over the years it has been playing a pivotal role in nation-building activities, it said.
On a capital base of Rs 5 crore, the union said LIC's valuation surplus was Rs 53,211.91 crore, life fund stood at Rs 28.28 lakh crore and asset under management over Rs 31.11 lakh crore at the end of FY19.
"Being one of the biggest financial institutions of the country, any move to privatise LIC will shake the confidence of the common man and will be an affront to our financial sovereignty. The very purpose of LIC to provide insurance coverage to socially and economically backward class at a reasonable cost will be defeated and motto will change from service to profit," the statement said.
Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said the listing of LIC would help bring in greater transparency, public participation and also deepen the equity market.
"Government came out with the idea (LIC listing). The details will follow and it will be in the interest of LIC and its policyholders. Interest of LIC and policyholders will be safeguarded," Thakur recently told PTI.
Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar on Sunday said the listing might be done in the second half of the next financial year.
(With inputs from agencies.)