Kerala Assembly Passes Unanimous Resolution Against LIC IPO

He criticised the Centre for amending the LIC Act by including it in the Finance Bill

The Kerala Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed a unanimous resolution, voicing concern over the Centre’s move to sell stakes in insurance behemoth LIC and urging it to retain the institution, which played a key role in the development of the nation.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who moved the resolution in the Assembly, opined that leaving the insurance giant to the interests of private players would not be beneficial to the country and hence the union government should revisit its decision. 

“The union government is trying to justify its actions by propagating that only 5 per cent stakes will be sold through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and that is not privatisation. But it is clear that selling shares is the first step towards privatisation and that is the real objective of the government,” he said. 

He recalled that the LIC was nationalised with an aim to protect stakeholders from the exploitation of private companies and to ensure that insurance coverage was extended to the weaker sections and backward areas of the country. Such an institution is being privatised now without giving any opportunity for a detailed discussion or examination in the Parliament, he said.

He criticised the Centre for amending the LIC Act by including it in the Finance Bill. Quoting figures, the Chief Minister also said the public sector insurance giant has so far invested Rs 36.76 lakh crore for the benefit of the society and this mammoth source of resource would be over with privatisation.

The Centre, in February, had filed draft papers with capital market regulator Sebi for selling 5 per cent stake in insurance behemoth LIC through an initial public offering. The IPO is 100 per cent offer for sale (OFS) by the Government of India and no fresh issue of shares by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).