Speakers at the two-day Annual General Council Meeting of Insurance Corporation Employees’ Union, which began in Bangalore on Tuesday, strongly opposed foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance sector.

Inaugurating the conference, Amanulla Khan, president of the All-India Insurance Employees’ Association (AIIEA), called upon insurance employees to oppose the FDI “with all your might” as the move would pave the way for foreign insurance companies to have control over the savings of the people and result in flight of capital from the country.

While domestic savings in the country had come down drastically, the Life Insurance Corporation of India’s premium income was steady at Rs. 2 lakh crore, with an asset of Rs. 15 lakh crore, he said. The corporation was enjoying the support of 40 crore policy holders, achieving 81 per cent share in the insurance sector. “Under such circumstances, what is the need for the Centre to invite FDI in the sector?” he said.

‘Giving in to pressure’

He said the United Progressive Alliance government had crossed the limits of decency and was succumbing to pressures of international finance corporations. “The Indian nation-state is taking only pro-rich policies and is no longer worried about the plight of the common people and the poor.”

Criticising the diesel price hike, he said “the decision will adversely affect the common man who depends on the public transport system”.

He slammed the government for bringing in FDI in multi-brand retail. “Can a kirana shop (small trader) set up in an area of 100 sq ft compete with a Walmart coming up in an area of 60,000 sq ft?” he said.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, approving the Rs.1.9-lakh crore debt restructuring package for the turnaround of State Distribution Companies, would force consumers to pay more for electricity, he observed.

‘Join the strike’

He alleged that anti-people policies of the government could not be allowed to take place and trade unions have to fight them. “Trade unions have called for a nationwide bandh on February 20 and 21, 2013, to oppose the anti-people policies and workers should unite and make the strike a complete success,” he said.

General secretary South Central Zone Insurance Employees’ Federation and other leaders addressed the gathering. Over 1,000 delegates from Bangalore, Tumkur, Kolar, Chickballapur and Ramanagaram districts attended.

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