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In the private joint venture insurance companies, the Indian promoters will hold 74 per cent stake in the venture initially leaving foreign partners with 26 per cent.

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SHRI M.V.V.S. MURTHI (VISAKHAPATNAM): Mr. Deputy-Speaker, Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity for saying something about this Insurance Regulatory Bill.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please say it in short.

SHRI M.V.V.S. MURTHI : I will be as brief as possible. But I should convey the message.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Yes, please do it.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI M.V.V.S. MURTHI : There is a wrong notion that attracting foreign investment into the insurance sector will create problems for the country. It is not so. The present insurance sector - either the Life Insurance or the General Insurance - is mostly covering the urban areas. It has not reached 65 per cent of the people in agricultural sector. In many of the villages, only few people will go for insurance. Unless we make it competitive, unless we liberalise it, unless we attract international players into the field, I am sure that with these monopolistic tendencies and protective nature, it will be very difficult to grow this sector. We have also seen so many other sectors. After liberalisation, they have grown beyond our expectations.

Some of the friends in the House mentioned about cars. For example, you take the case of Maruti cars. After the other players arrived into the field, the growth rate has increased in the case of Maruti cars. Likewise, in the insurance sector also, if you liberalise it, if you attract the other players, a competitive nature will come into the insurance sector. Ultimately, you have to take into account not only the employees but also the beneficiaries. The employees will continue to have their jobs. I am sure, more jobs will be created if you liberalise it because it has to spread for survival. It has to reach the

other sectors where there is no insurance at all. The agricultural sector is not having any insurance. The hon. Minister of Finance and other hon. Members are here. Only a limited number of crops are insured. The other crops have not been insured.

20.00 hrs.

Unless you make it competitive, the economy will not grow. The hon. Finance Minister is here to say what are our interest rate. The insurance rates are higher, our interest rates are higher and still we wanted to be very competitive. With the manufacturing activity, it is very difficult to be competitive, that is why, our friends in the Opposition also have agreed for liberalisation of Insurance sector also. I am very glad that the nation's interest is paramount in this hour of juncture. So, we should all unite together in making this liberalisation full and expanding in other sector also.

Unless you expand the economy, we will not be able to achieve a good growth rate. The slow growth rate which India is facing in the past few years is being observed elsewhere and also some of the people feel why India is not able to attract the desered level of investments? Why China is attracting more investment, because there is a consistent policy in China and their approach to economic policies. There is more stability in China for attracting foreign investment whereas in our country too often or too frequently, changing the policies or uttering something and doing something which will be affecting our economy in the years to come. So, I feel that this Insurance Bill as it is, should go and we should also make so many other things liberalise so that the foreign investment or the money that is required by way of equity would come to the country. Otherwise borrowing money from institutions will not help this country. We have to get money by way of equity, by way of investment so that the country will grow further and further and we will have the fruits of liberalisation.

Everybody is looking at the time, so I do not want to continue. With these words, I fully support the recommendations of the hon. Finance Minister so that the Bill should go through as it is.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Hon. Members, the House was extended up to 8 o'clock. There are three more Members who are waiting for a chance to speak. It would be a good gesture, if all of us sit and hear in short all the three of them so that tomorrow to that extent we will minimise our job.

Is it the pleasure of the House to extend the time of the House by fifteen minutes?


SHRI E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN (SIVAGANGA): With great respect to the hon. Deputy-Speaker, I have got certain locus standi to speak because I do not want to make it as a very great thing. But in Mahabharta there is a story that Kunti tried to use the vow given by the God sun and she bequeathed a child even before her marriage. That was Karna. Karna was treated as an orphan and subsequently he became a king.

In the same way, this Bill was bequeathed and unnoticingly a floodgate was opened by my best friend, Shri Chidambaram against whom I contested and I defeated him with a margin of more than one lakh votes. I am not just claiming myself to say about it but I have to express my views because when I opposed Shri Chidambaram I put forth these ideas that foreign investment and other things should not be so easily allowed in India. That was one of my speeches made during the election period.

Actually I was supported by the Communist Party of India, Marxist Party of India, other Left Parties, and especially the AIADMK headed by a very strong and dynamic leader, Puratchi Thalaivi Dr. Jayalalitha. Therefore, I have got certain duty to express my views and their ideas also because I have got the votes from them. That was the difference I could wedge with my opponent. Therefore, I feel that even though I have got the duty to say certain things supporting my party line, I would like to express my views.

If Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Shrimati Indira Gandhi and Shri Rajiv Gandhi were alive now; if our hon. Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav had not turned like that and Shrimati Sonia Gandhi was the Prime Minister now, I do not feel that this type of a Bill would be introduced because from the very beginning we were having the feeling that our Indian enterpreneurs should be developed. We were having the mixed economy as the policy of the Congress party. Even in Avadi Congress Session, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru very clearly said that it was the socialist pattern of society. Indiraji amended the Constitution making it as a socialist country. We cannot go away from our Constitution. We have to be very clear in telling the country whether we are signing in the WTO or any other pact that we are socialist. Our country is a socialist country. We cannot go away from it. We have not amended our Constitution. It is a declaration made in the Preamble. Therefore, socialism should be the touchstone whenever any Bill comes before this august Parliament.

I feel that these type of Bills should have that flavour when they come before this august Parliament. I feel that there is a great difference from our election manifesto.

Unfortunately we are having a party which is ruling now, who has stolen away the Swedeshi, Gandhiji from us during the election period. Now they have forgotten Gandhiji and Swedeshi. Now, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is sitting as the Prime Minister and he forgot about Swedeshi. He forgot about his own speeches made in the Parliament when he was the Leader of the Opposition. He forgot about the RSS programme or Sangh Parivar's programme that the foreigners should not come inside; our enterpreneurs should come up and they should have a healthy competition within India; we have got a very big market; our national companies should come up and then only we could compete with the international companies. That was the thinking of the BJP at that time. I feel that they have changed everything now while sitting in the Treasury Bench. Actually, I am feeling very unhappy. Are we going in a wrong way?

We should be very patriotic when we are looking after our own industries. LIC and GIC are our own assets. They are our community assets. They are our nation's asset. We invested the money of our people. We have spent crores of rupees for the health of the country and for the health of our people. When we attained Independence, our mortality rate was around 69 or 70 per cent. Now, our mortality rate is very low, 13 or 15 per cent.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please conclude.

SHRI E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN : Sir, I would like to continue my speech for some more time.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: We have to accommodate other Members. Please make your speech short.

SHRI E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN : Therefore, I feel that we should have that feeling that a proper leadership is very important for making the people patriotic and the institutions to come up.

As you all know, any insurance company, any proprietor will think about the profit. It should go to the shareholders or to the policy holders. Now, the Life Insurance Corporation and the General Insurance Corporation are having the fourth area and that is social obligation. We are spending more than Rs. 1,00,000 crore for the community upliftment. Even Sivaganga water facility is given by the Life Insurance Corporation; roads are laid from the Life Insurance Corporation funds. Many houses are built by the Life Insurance Corporation. In the same way, Other Backward Classes are getting employment and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people are getting employment in the Life Insurance Corporation and the General Insurance Corporation. Where will they go for employment when a lot of foreign companies come here? We have to think about it. I am telling you that you are denationalising it. You are making it an elephant and then you want to run it like a lion. It cannot run like a lion because it is an elephant. You have to feed more because it is having power to pull things. Therefore, elephant cannot become a lion and lion cannot become an elephant.

Now, foreign companies cannot take away our money. It is a saving. We are creating assets- cash in hand. It is just like a territory - our own land was given for the East India Company. So, are we going to give money to the foreign companies? They will take away our money. You may have restrictions that they should not take it away, but they will reinvest it which will be detrimental to our own interest. So, I request you to keep it in mind when you are bringing these types of Bills that we should protect our economic rights. We are having only political rights just remaining with us and if we go on giving everything to the foreign countries, I do not think we may survive. In due course of time, we may have some other countries dominating upon us.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEKAER: Please conclude.

SHRI E.M. SUDARSANA NATCHIAPPAN : Regarding the amendments, I would like to tell you only one thing. At page five, there is a clause giving authority to regulate. I am quoting from Section 14(2)(a):

"issue to the applicant a certificate of registration, renew, modify, withdraw, suspend or cancel such registration."

If they are not doing it properly, why do you not add one word `nationalise'?

If they are not doing it, we can nationalise it. In that way if it is added, then it will be good.

The other thing is that 26 per cent is only promoters' share. If it goes to the secondary market, then they will grab the entire area. Therefore, we cannot control them in the secondary market. They can purchase it and only promoters will just oblige for having 26 per cent initially, but they will increase their shares subsequently. Therefore, the Government should have at least 20 per cent share in any insurance company so that they can have social control over private insurance company. In that way, we can invest the money in the social sector.

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