LIC agents to go on agitation against Insurance Bill
Opposing the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, which was due to come up for discussion before a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Wednesday, Agents of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) will be staging an agitation in front of their division office at Salt Lake in north-eastern Kolkata on Thursday.
The Insurance Bill seeks to bring the rate of foreign direct INVESTMENT into the insurance sector to 49 per cent from the present 26 per cent. LIC agents have opposed to other amendments which seemingly curbs their power.
“Currently, the IRDA [Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority] decides on the percentage of commission that agents can receive. If the Bill is passed, insurance companies will get the power of deciding the percentage which might set unattainable targets for us,” assistant secretary of the LIC Agents Organisation of India Amit Bhattacharya told The Hindu .
The Bill also seeks to stop the Hereditary Commission which enables an agent’s nominee to enjoy his/her benefits following the agent’s death, Mr. Bhattacharya said.
“A section of the Bill seeks to alter the Sovereign Guarantee, whereby a policy holder’s return will be decreased but will increase the dividend of the Central Government,” he said.
About 2,000 LIC agents and investors are expected to participate in Thursday’s agitation, Mr. Bhattacharya said and added that a similar protest was being planned in Mumbai.
Bill to boost US business: Trinamool
The Bill was scheduled to come up for a meeting before a 13-member Select Committee on Wednesday but was cancelled.
All India Trinamool Congress’s Chief Whip in the Rajya Sabha and member of the Standing Committee Derek O’Brien said in a statement that the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre “sought to bulldoze it [the Bill] through Parliament in the Budget Session so that the Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] could have a lollypop to carry to America.”
“The government’s orders to the BJP members of the Select Committee were to rush through with the proceedings and get the Bill ready for the Winter Session, which begins on November 24… We’ve done about 10 meetings and there was an important one coming up on Wednesday,” Mr. O’Brien stated in a e-mailed statement.
The meeting was called off as Standing Committee members J.P. Nadda and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi were inducted into the Union Ministry, losing their powers to be members of the Committee.
the hindu 18 11 2014
The proposed Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill 2008 will be detrimental to the interests of agents, according to Life Insurance Agents Federation of India (LIAFI).
“We have staged peaceful demonstrations all over the country and are working on an action plan to intensify the agitation,” SB Sreenivasachary, president of LIAFI told BusinessLine in an interaction here on Monday.
LIC agents had staged demonstrations at branches in Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Jammu & Kashmir, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore, he added.
LIAFI has over 11.78 lakh agents as its members, accounting for more than half of the total life insurance agents in the country.
There are about nine lakh agents working for private life insurers. The agents claim that some of the provisions in the Amendment Bill are detrimental to their interests.
“If implemented in totality, the persistency of the policies and an agent’s career would get adversely impacted. They will lose the statutory protection accorded to them by the Insurance Act, 1938,” Chary said.
For example, Section 40 of the existing Act deals with the limits on commission payable to the agents on the first year and renewal premium procured. “But the Amendment Bill has no specific substitute section on commission limits,” he said
Further, the amendment proposes to do away with prohibition of cessation of payments of commissions for agents.
“Removal of this section will cause irreparable damage to the family of the deceased agent as there are no terminal benefits for insurance agents,” the functionary said.
The association had also staged major protests last year against the Bill in Delhi and other big centres. “Incidentally, it was the then BJP chief and present Home Minister Rajnath Singh who pledged his support to us,” said Chary.
Now, it remains to be seen how the Government reacts to the demands of the agents.