Lambasting the neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the union government, the Northern Zone Insurance Employees' Association (NZIEA) reiterated its demand of recognition from the government.
Across seven states and one union territory - including Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh - 483 delegates participated in the three-day convention of NZIEA, a branch of the All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA), held in Shimla to chalk out strategy on issues related to insurance industry.
NZIEA general secretary Anil Kumar Bhatnagar said owing to wrong economic policies of the government Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and rest of the sectors were in trouble.
“The LIC is built under an Act passed in Parliament and now Parliament itself is trying to sabotage it through the neo-liberal policies,” said Bhatnagar.
Lashing out at the government for its reform policies, he said the reforms had resulted in increasing inflation, declining employment and privatisation of profit-making public sector units.
At the convention a resolution was passed seeking abrogation of the Insurance Amendment Bill 2008, he said, adding: “Through the bill, the government seeks to expand foreign direct investment (FDI) from 26% to 49%.”
Elaborating on other issues discussed at the convention, he said the NZIEA represented 85% of the LIC employees. “The biggest association of employees in the government insurance sector is still deprived of recognition,” he added.
He said the LIC alone provided `7,04,151 crores to the social and infrastructure sectors during the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) while FDI, which came to the Indian insurance sector during 2001-11, had mere `6,813 crores as equity in 33 private insurance companies.
Lashing out the political parties, except the Left, for allowing policies that were detrimental to the insurance sector, Bhatnagar said, “Only the Left parties favour our demands, while others pursue dual stance on economic issues of the country.”
Anupama Sachdev, convener of the Zonal Level Women Sub-Committee of NZIEA, said the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) was constituted for the betterment of the insurance sector, but it should not be the only governing body for the LIC.
“The LIC is Parliament's baby, and thus, should not be governed by any other bodies,” added Sachdev.
Lauding the efforts of NZIEA, she said it was only the result of the association's efforts that the LIC Amendment Bill could not become an Act.
NZIEA secretary Navin Chand said 12 resolutions were passed at the convention in three days, including inflation, unemployment, women harassment, labour exploitation in un-organised sector and salary review.