The people of India will elect their representatives to the 16th Lok Sabha by middle of May, 2014. The election commission has already announced the dates of elections to the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies during 7th of April to 12th May, 2014. The results of this election shall be declared on 16th May, 2014 as per schedule drawn by the Election Commission.
The Congress led UPA II government in last 10 years has pushed the Indian economy to an abysmal point. The neo liberal economy embraced by Congress in consonance of the dictum of IMF/World Bank is the cause for this tragedy witnessed by the people of our country. In fact the reforms introduced by Congress in 1991 and pursued by the following governments was the platform that opened up Indian Economy to the needs of indigenous and foreign capital’s greed to loot the wealth of the country. Economy was further liberalised by BJP led NDA government in 1999. This only confirmed that Indian politics and political parties excepting the Left competed with each other to show their subservience to the dictates of finance capital. This philosophy altered the course of the government policies from interventionist policy to market-driven policy. This understanding of the ruling classes thus accepted the dictum ‘it is not the business of the government to be in business’. It further boasted that the duty of the government is only to govern the country. The government totally abdicated its responsibility to intervene on behalf of the common man and gave a free ticket to the rich to further their profits. This theory enabled privatisation of government and public services. Government detached itself from providing subsidy to the people in the areas of basic necessities. The Indian ruling class totally neglected the agriculture sector. Shifting the primary lending away from agriculture sector resulted in suicides of more than 2.8 lakh farmers in this country during the period of reforms. The ever increasing inflation resulted into continuous and unprecedented price rise.
The consecutive governments since 1991 were shamelessly chanting the mantra of Privatisation. They said privatisation alone will lift the Indian economy to greater heights and in turn distributes the wealth of the country to its people. This enabled privatisation of all public sectors in this country for a throw away price to both Indian and foreign private entrepreneurs. This led to the unbridled loot of public wealth by these private corporates. India today is home to 60 $billionaires and is ranked fifth in the world in number of billionaires. The combined wealth of these Indian billionaires comes to a staggering $390 billion which is almost 1/3rd of the total GDP of the country. All the scams in post reform era stand testimony to this obnoxious design of ruling classes. The policy of privatisation led to more attacks on working people of this country. The unemployment increased. The contract employment replaced the permanent employment. Reforms in pension sector resulted in the defined pension being replaced by defined contribution. The Indian trade union movement led by left had to launch struggles against this anti worker and anti people policies. India witnessed 15 general strikes in the last 20 years. Today we witness more inequality among the people due to the economic reforms in this country.
It is in this background that AIIEA has protected the public sector LIC and General Insurance Companies in the last two decades. Despite the attempts of successive governments since 1999 to weaken the public sector insurance industry, the sustained campaign and struggle unleashed by AIIEA could not only protect our industry but also helped the industry to reach commanding positions. Without doubt the public sector insurance companies are market leaders today. Our campaign against the LIC (Amendment) Bill 2009 finally succeeded in protection of LIC. The campaign against Insurance laws (Amendment) bill 2008 could so far stall the government’s attempts and the campaign should continue. This bill not only allows increase in foreign direct investment from the present 26% to 49% but also enables privatisation of public sector general insurance companies. This attempt of government is nothing but to hand over the savings mobilized by the public sector insurance industry to the private hands. AIIEA’s struggle could so far keep the government at bay on this Bill.
The Elections 2014 are definitely going to shape the future of public sector insurance industry. The two major political parties viz., the Congress and the BJP have already stated that once they come to power in 2014, their priority will be to further liberalize the financial sector.
Therefore, this election is very important for every employee working in public sector insurance industry. If we have to guard this industry, we must act decisively in this crucial election. The time has come to think and decide on whose side we should stand by. Do we have to elect such political formulations which are against the public sector and the public sector insurance industry? Do people of India have to elect such political parties whose economic policies are anti- poor, anti-worker and anti-people? Should the people elect such governments who shun their responsibility towards majority people’s aspirations?
The 23rd General Conference of AIIEA while answering these questions called upon the people of this country to change ‘THE NEETI NOT NETA ALONE’. The discussion in media that who is our next PM – “ IS IT MODI OR RAHUL “ is no use to the people of this country because both represent the same economic philosophy of FREE MARKET ECONOMY. Their parties unashamedly represent the corporate world. This being the reality, the conference of AIIEA beckoned people of this country to “REJECT CONGRESS led UPA and DEFEAT BJP led NDA. In this background we call upon insurance employees to support the Left, secular, progressive and democratic political parties and save the economic independence of India. Let us all fulfill this task without any let up and be proud partners for a better India tomorrow.
With warm greetings,
(Please download the attached AIIEA Circular No.06/2014 dated 25th March 2014)