Insurance employees plan a day’s strike on Dec. 23

Staff Reporter

Bill seeking to amend three existing laws opposed

Bill facilitates increase in FDI from 26 to 49 per cent, says AIIEA leader

He says hardly a paisa has been invested by foreign nationals in our infrastructure

VIJAYAWADA: The All India Insurance Employees’ Association (AIIEA) has called upon all insurance employees to observe a day’s strike on December 23 in the event the Union Government introduces the proposed Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008, in Parliament on Monday.

AIIEA general secretary K. Venu Gopal, along with president Amanullah Khan, said at a press conference here on Saturday that more than 1.75 lakh employees and officers of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India and four general insurance companies would participate in the proposed strike against the Bill, which seeks to amend three existing insurance laws, including the IRDA Act, 1999, the General Insurance Business Nationalisation Act, 1972, and the Insurance Act, 1938.

Mr. Venu Gopal, who was here to participate in the fourth general conference of the All India Insurance Pensioners Association, said that insurance employees were opposing the Bill, as it facilitates increasing the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from 26 to 49 per cent, and allowing public sector units to raise capital from the market. He said any increase in FDI would affect the investment pattern of insurance funds. And the clause to allow investors to take some portion of the mobilised funds out of the country was far more dangerous.

“There is no reason to believe the Government’s argument that the hike in FDI will allow the foreign partners to bring global insurance funds into the Indian infrastructure. Even after eight years of the opening up of the insurance sector, hardly a single paisa has been invested by the foreign investors in Indian infrastructure,” Mr. Venu Gopal observed.