Class I officers of the LIC would join the nationwide strike called by the All-India Insurance Employees’ Association (AIIEA) on September 16, K. Venu Gopal, general secretary of the Association, said on Monday.

Mr. Gopal said that the strike had been called to demand the LIC management and the government to start further negotiations and settle wage revision to the satisfaction of the employees. According to him, while the management was ready for a revision, the government was stonewalling the process.

Coming down on the government’s move to divest the shares of the LIC, he said the AIIEA would launch a signature campaign involving the policy-holders against the government’s move.

Mr. Gopal said the estimated total worth of LIC is Rs.8.73 lakh crore of which the capital investment by the government was only Rs.5 crore. “We believe the true owners of the LIC are its 26-crore policy-holders and the government has no right to infringe upon their interests without consulting them,” Mr. Gopal said. He added that the signatures collected during the campaign would be presented to the Speaker before the LIC (Amendment) Bill was taken up by the House. “We want the submission by the people to be discussed first,” he said.

The Bill proposed to weaken the provisions of the sovereign guarantee now enjoyed by the LIC. This would affect the interests of the policy-holders, he said.

Even after opening the insurance sector for competition, the LIC could retain its undisputed leadership with 62.45 per cent market share. Any move to weaken the company would be against national interest and that of its share-holders.

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