Privatization Of Insurance Sector: Govt Employees Strike Against Govt, Bank Staff Supports Them
On Wednesday, the employees of public sector general insurance (PSGI) companies observed a nationwide one-day strike.
Protest Against Privatization
The protest was against the intended privatisation of state-owned insurers.
Ahead of this, the Joint Front of Trade Unions in PSGI companies met on Monday.
They further decided to protest against the decision of the government to privatise PSGI companies.
The General Insurance Employees All India Association general secretary, K Govindan said that the unions have given a call for one-day strike against the passage of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill 2021 in the Lok Sabha.
Further, the employees from all four PSGI companies have participated in the day-long strike.
Why Would This Happen?
On Monday, the said bill was passed by the Lok Sabha that too without discussion amid continuing protests by opposition parties on the Pegasus snooping and other issues.
Although, the bill is scheduled to come up for discussion and passage in the Rajya Sabha later in the day.
Basically, the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021, seeks to remove the requirement that the central government should hold not less than 51 percent of the equity capital in a specified insurer.
The All India Insurance Employees' Association (AIIEA) said, "These measures will therefore enable the government to privatise all the four public sector general insurance companies and the reinsurer GIC Re. The argument of the Finance Minister that it is not privatisation but an effort towards greater private participation sounds somewhat ludicrous,".
AIIEA mentioned that during 2020 and 2021, penalties were imposed against private insurance companies only.
While the number of grievances registered against private insurance companies was 82 per cent as against 18 per cent against public sector insurance companies.
Unions Supporting The Cause
The bank officers' union All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) has also extended their support to strike calls.
Apart from this, the All India Bank Employees Association has also given moral support.
Pouring more light on the subject, the AIBOC general secretary, Soumya Datta said that our union would extend solidarity to the strike call given by the insurance union against the proposed privatisation drive.
This all started when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a big-ticket privatisation agenda in the Budget 2021-22.
This basically included two public sector banks and one general insurance company.
Currently, there are four general insurance companies in the public sector - National Insurance Company Limited, New India Assurance Company Limited, Oriental Insurance Company Limited and the United India Insurance Company Limited.