Mumbai: Nearly one lakh employees of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) staged an hour-long walk-out Tuesday against the government’s decision to sell a part of its stake in the life insurance major through an initial public offering (IPO). There are 13 unions in LIC, and employees and officers affiliated to 11 unions were on protest.
In the Union Budget announced Saturday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government, which holds 100 per cent stake in LIC, will sell a part of its holding through an IPO.
“Today’s walk-out was completely successful. Of around 1.08 employees and officers at LIC, close to one lakh staged walk-out across the country,” All India LIC Employees Federation (AILEF) general secretary Rajesh Kumar said.
Kumar stated that the federation will decide further course of action in its meeting March 16-18.
In a statement issued earlier today, AILEF said listing of LIC is against national interest as over the years it has been playing a pivotal role in nation building activities.
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 at over Rs 31.11 lakh crore at the end of 2018-19.
“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 had said listing of LIC will help bring in greater transparency, public participation and also deepen the equity market. Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar had said Sunday the listing may be done in the second half of the next financial year.