The Hon’ble Prime Minister,
Government of India,
September 30, 2016.
Re: Prayer for one more option for Pension.
First of all, we, the undersigned, beg your pardon for taking few minutes from your most valuable time to draw your kind attention to the following facts. We are very much delighted to observe the advertisement published on 1st September, 2016 in all leading newspapers countrywide on behalf of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) on the eve of its ‘CELEBRATING 60 YEARS OF SERVICE & TRUST.’ A few features published in the bulletin are appended below for your kind perusal.
· More than 29 crore policies
· 99.75% claims settled during 2015-16
· Total assets worth Rs.22.10 lakh crore
· More than 10 lakh agents
The authority of LIC has also inserted a message to the nation as follows:
“We are celebrating 60 years of helping India fulfill its dreams. 60 years of ensuring that everyone feels secure and confident about the future. 60 years of your unrelenting support and trust in us. This is not just a celebration of the years gone by, but a celebration of a brighter tomorrow for all of us.”
In fact, the book value of total investments of LIC as on 31.08.1956, i.e., just before the nationalization, was Rs.326 crore and now increased to Rs.14,85,901 crore as on 31.03.2016 in Government & Social Sector out of which Rs.7.21 lakh crore in Central Government Securities. We are proud that the authority of LIC has committed to invest Rs.30,000 crore every year amalgamating to Rs. 1.5 lakh crore to promote Indian Railways for better infrastructure in which interest will not be levied for first five years. We, retired employees of all categories of LIC, were involved to successfully fight all challenges and adversities with loyalty and prime youth of our lives to achieve its unputdownable growth of helping India fulfill its dreams by rendering our sincere and conscientious service. We were well-aware also about all agents concerned so that they can maintain their livelihood simultaneously with all amenities as per rules of the Corporation. But the message, “60 years of ensuring that everyone feels secure and confident about the future”, does not appease us without pension to meet all expenses of our families inclusive of huge medical expenses in the present scenario of high price index and erosion of rupee which is an inexpressible tragedy after a glorious journey. Moreover, the rate of interest decreased from 12.5% to 7% p.a. on Monthly Income Scheme has put in enormous difficulties to maintain our livelihood. Some of us undergoing a major operation on their persons have been awaiting last breath considering within their beings as burden to earth, or about to die for the scarcity of money only without pension.
It is pertinent to mention here that the employees about 73% approx. of Nationalized Banking Sector refused opting pension for two occasions after Pension Scheme introduced in 1995 when the material conditions had not been changed much. They were unable to assess the situation and did not join the scheme. Since then, there is lot of changes in the economic environment of the country making Pension a necessity as a social security benefit. Afterwards on repeated persuasions, one further option for pension was allowed in Banking Sector while the wage revision settled for the period of 2007-2012. The irony of fate is thatour i.e., approximately 13% of LIC employees’ demand for one more option for pension has been kept pending for last 9 years though another wage revision for 2012-2017 has been settled in Banking and Insurance Sectors both. All endeavors on our part have been put in futility for which we have no other alternative excepting starvation. As such, the message does not fulfill us to feel secure and confident about our future if we are considered as the smallest part of making India shining. The long pending justice has compelled us to pass through a tough time ever since joining in LIC. Patience for justice gives us emptiness. This emptiness always yawns before us like a stiff cliff with ravine below. Death is eagerly waiting to welcome there.
We come to know that in presence of many Distinguished Persons such as Union Minister of State for Finance, Finance Secretary, Chairman and Managing Directors of LIC at the Diamond Jubilee celebration event of LIC in Mumbai, Hon’ble Union Finance Minister has highlighted the need for strengthening social security apparatus in the country to make India a pensioned and an insured society. But our legitimate demand had not yet been sympathetically considered by the authority of LIC. As such, we earnestly appeal to your kind heart to allow us one more option for pension at the earliest.
Under the above circumstances, we would fervently pray and request you to kindly look into the matter personally with sympathetic consideration so as to enable us to get rid of such financial stringencies by your magnanimous verdict in favour of us which will bring a fresh air in our lives.
Your early action in this respect shall make us obliged with heartfelt gratitude.
Kamal Krishna Mallick