One Day Strike on 4th Jan 2023-JFTU
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
The Industry of One Lakh Twenty Thousands Crores (120 thousand Crores) of Public Sector General Insurance and GIC are having around 50,000 employees and officers in these public sector companies i.e. National insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, New India Assurance Company Ltd, United India Insurance Company Ltd. and GIC Re are forced to observe one day strike on 4th of January 2023 as after holding series of demonstrations throughout the country during Lunch Hour on 14th, 21st and 28th Dec 2022 against the massive Closer and Mergers of offices (including profitable offices), arbitrary and Unilateral imposition of Restructuring and K.P.I (Key Performance Indicator).
Against the Policy of the Govt Of India i.e. Financial Inclusion, GIPSA Companies on the verbal instructions of Saurabh Mishra, Joint Secretary, Department of Financial Services has been pressurising the companies to close down their offices in a haphazard & whimsical manner. As a result, in the last 1-2 years approx 1000 offices of the 4 public sector companies have already been closed. These offices basically belong to Class II and III cities of the country. This unilaterally forcing massive closures and mergers of hundreds of offices in Public Sector General Insurance Company’s (PSGICs) are not only affecting the policyholders and the Citizens at large but also giving undue favour to private insurance companies to capture the market in class II and III cities.
Even after pointing out by the Secretary Finance during one of the companies board meeting, the said joint secretary has been forcing the GIPSA Companies and the employees, officers working in administration to opt as BDEs/BDMs overnight in these companies which is illegal & unjustified and will grossly demoralise the work force. We learnt that the said Joint Secretary has been pressuring National Insurance Board as per his whims & fancies and also pressurised NIC boards for recruiting a Chief Technical Officer in the past to favour his near & dear for a huge package.
The unions & associations are opposing the micro level intervention of the said Joint Secretary in a day to day functioning i.e. in underwriting, claims, reinsurance business, HR, IT, marketing and in the routine promotions and postings affecting the general functions of the industry. The said Joint Secretary being a director in Govt owned National Insurance Company is openly promoting privatisation through his individual profile on private business social site which is a conflict of interest and a serious matter on record thus maligning and damaging the image of Govt of India and the department of financial services.
The said Joint Secretary has been arbitrary forcing restructuring & Key Performance Indicators (KPI). As per the records, the success rate of these indicators are very negative and has proved to be a gross failure, therefore such exercise is hypocritical, hypothetical and a decisive move to make PSGICs sick industry so that the benefits of large premium base, the trained staff and established infrastructure can be handed over to private entities.
Joint Forum of Trade Unions (JFTU) has strongly objected to the unilateral and arbitrary selection of E & Y as a consultant. They are totally contradicting their own report advocating Merger of PSGICs in 2017 as the main diagnosis; it seems that today they are pushing ahead the agenda of someone in the DFS. The said consultant has a tinted track record as they have been penalized for thousands of crores for gross irregularities and misconduct.
JFTU vehemently opposed the regulators/DFS for not establishing a level playing field and proving as a failure in controling malpractices of private players while imposing restrictions on PSGICs. Even, no stern action has been taken against the loot of thousands of crores in GST by some private insurance companies.
JFTU demands to carry out a special audit of these private companies including TPAs and Brokers. JFTU demands for a special audit of the irregularities being made by the private players in regard to Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna through CAG.
JFTU rejected the unilaterally notified variable pay concept and demanded for merger of three companies as per the Budget approval 2018, Recruitment in all class of employees, specially in Marketing and demanding old pension scheme for all, increase in family pension to the uniform rate of 30%, enhancement of employer’s contribution in NPS to 14%, Settlement of Non Core benefits and extension of final option of pension for former TAC/LPA employees.
The PSGICs were formed after nationalization in the national interest to serve the society and the people at large. These companies have successfully implemented all social security Schemes, paid huge amounts on catastrophic losses, uplifted the down trodden and has given employment to thousands of citizens of the country and had given huge dividends to the government in thousands of crores for the betterment of the society and the country at large.
Today, It is a matter of serious concern that when the country is celebrating the Azadi ka Amrit mahotsav, the PSGICs who gave handsome profit and dividends in the past many years and successfully implemented various government social security schemes like Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, Corona Kawach Policy, Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana, Swasthya Bima Yojna, full filling corporate responsibilities and doing the rural and crop insurances are not being given a serious Concern.
It is significant that the PSGICs are marked as a strategically important sector by the Niti Aayog. Profit generation is not the only purpose of PSGICs companies. The more important aspect is of discharging social responsibilities by way of implementing several social welfare schemes of the government.
JFTU demands for meaningful consultation with central leadership at corporate levels in the policy matters. The JFTU urges the Govt of India, The Honorable Finance Minister, and other statutory bodies to take serious note of the situation in the best interest of the industry, employees, policy holders, agents, and the Citizens at large.