The members of the Udupi unit of Insurance Employees Union staged a ‘dharna’ in front of the Divisional Office of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India against the increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap here on Monday.
Addressing the protestors here, U. Guruduth, General Secretary of Union, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had introduced the Insurance Act (Amendment) Bill 2015 in the Rajya Sabha. But it failed to get it passed there. Hence, it had now introduced the Bill in the Lok Sabha.
Despite opposition to the Bill in both houses, the Union government was bent on getting the Bill passed to please the foreign investors and corporate lobby.
All the previous governments at the Centre had been trying to increase FDI cap in insurance sector for over 10 years. But they had failed to do so because of the opposition of workers unions.
The passage of this Bill would increase the FDI cap in insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent. But the ultimate aim of the government is to increase the FDI cap from 49 per cent to 100 per cent.
Yet another objective of the government was to privatize the four large public sector insurance companies in the country. Some financial experts had suggested that the government sell 10 per cent properties of the LIC of India and use it for government expenses. This suggestion was a precursor for future privatisation.
The corporate sector and foreign capitalists were waiting like hawks to feed on the savings of the common people of the country. The present laws prevent foreign investors from using the premium collected on insurance policies outside the country.
But these companies want to take the premium outside the country. This was the real intention of the Bill. “The Bill will not result in foreign capital flowing into the country. Instead it would result in flight of capital from the country,” Mr. Guruduth said.