Union Budget: LIC staff stage protest against disinvestment plan

LIC employees staging a flash demonstration in Mysuru on Saturday.

LIC employees staging a flash demonstration in Mysuru on Saturday.  

It’s an insipid budget, says MIA

The Union Budget for 2020-21 has evoked strong reactions from various stakeholders with LIC employees staging a flash demonstration on learning that the government plans to partially disinvest from LIC.

The announcement of partial disinvestment was made around 12.30 p.m. during the budget speech by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the employees immediately gathered in front of their respective offices and staged a demonstration.

More than 100 LIC employees including officers gathered in front of the main office at the Millennium Circle and displayed their outrage over the government’s decision. A senior employee of the LIC said it was spontaneous and was held across the country.

Meanwhile, union leaders pointed out that ₹1.5 lakh crore was released by LIC for National Highways development besides approving ₹15 lakh crore for the railway infrastructure development. “The LIC has also funded the government’s social welfare programmes and hence the partial disinvestment was a step in the wrong direction,” said the leaders.

The All India LIC Employees’ Association said it strongly opposes the move of the government. At present the government holds 100% stakes in LIC. The domestic savings of the policy holders helps capital formation and is utilised for development activities of the country. The LIC has funded to the tune of 80% of its total investment in the social sector and the five-year plans,” the association said.

They said LIC has contributed almost 25% to the total budgetary efforts of the Government of India and hence selling a portion of its stakes and disinvesting in it would deliver a strong blow to resource mobilisation efforts. The association urged the government to drop the proposed move in the interest of nearly 40 crore policy holders.

Meanwhile, the Mysuru Industries’ Association has described the Union Budget 2020-21 as insipid and devoid of any flavour.

MIA president Vasu, a former Congress MLA, said the reduction in the Income Tax slab rates upto an income of ₹15 lakh per annum, and the concomitant withdrawal of tax rebates that were being provided all these years, amounts to fooling the salaried class. He said there is no substantial benefit to the salaried class who have been told that the new tax regime is optional which adds to the confusion.

The only positive take away from the budget was the thrust on solar power production and establishment of export promotional centres in districts, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 3:56:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/union-budget-lic-staff-stage-protest-against-disinvestment-plan/article30716631.ece

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