Disinvestment of LIC will be against Atma Nirbhar Bharat mission, says staff federation

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The All-India LIC Employees Federation has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to stop the proposed disinvestment of the Life Insurance Corporation of India, saying the move would be against his stated mission of an Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

In a letter on June 25, the federation’s president and Rajya Sabha MP, Binoy Viswam, said the employees were concerned about news reports on the Centre’s decision to invite bids from consulting firms, investment bakers and financial institutions to advise the government on the proposed IPO process.

“We wish to draw your attention and at the same time seek your intervention to immediately stop the disinvestment in LIC, one of the jewels in the crown of India, as it is against your much emphasised mission and rightly so of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Disinvestment in LIC will be a stepping stone for privatisation in future which will be against the national interest,” the letter stated.

Started in 1956, LIC had provided a large number of Indians in rural areas and socially and economically weaker sections life insurance at a reasonable cost, it said.

“National priorities and obligation of reasonable returns to the policyholders have been the main criteria of LIC’s investment. The total funds so invested for the benefits of the community at large are ₹29, 84,331 crore as on March 31, 2019. If the government goes ahead with its plan of disinvestment in LIC, there will be implication for policyholders,” the letter said.

With disinvestment, LIC would be forced to review its investments in social sectors like housing, power, irrigation etc in order to compete, it said.

“LIC’s slogan ‘Yogakshemam Vahamyaham’, which means ‘Your welfare is our responsibility’ will certainly be defeated. Therefore, we fervently appeal to you to rescind the decision of disinvesting in LIC in national interest which will give a big boost to make India Aatmanirbhar,” it said.

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