Senior Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken
The Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of "sacrificing" public money by investing in loss-making public sector units and said it was using the LIC as an instrument to meet its ends. Senior Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken cited an RBI report and claimed that the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has doubled its investment in "risky" public sector undertakings in the last five years from Rs 11.94 lakh crore to Rs 22.64 lakh crore.
"The LIC, a public sector unit that makes investments in the stock market, has invested 10.7 lakh crore in such risky PSUs in the last five years alone, while the total investment made from 1956 till 2014 in such risky undertakings was only Rs 11.94 lakh crore," he said.
"The Modi government is sacrificing public money by investing in loss-making public sector units. It is using the LIC as an instrument to meet its ends," the Congress leader said.
Maken claimed that the government used around Rs 30,000 crore of the LIC to bail out loss-making IDBI after the corporation increased its stake by 51 per cent after infusing Rs 21,000 crore in IDBI in 2018.
This month again the Union Cabinet approved infusing of Rs 9,300 crore, despite the IDBI posting a loss of Rs 3,800 crore in the June quarter, he said. The former Union minister alleged that the Rs 21,000 crore that the LIC had invested has been wiped off because the IDBI had many debts and non-performing assets.
The LIC has 28.84 crore investors and its total assets are around Rs 31.11 lakh crore, Maken said. Household liability has increased to Rs 7.40 lakh crore which is a matter of concern, he said, adding that the Congress is concerned over the state of the economy.
The biggest concern in the country is the slowdown of the economy and unemployment, which the government is not addressing, Maken said. The RBI's statistical handbook on the Indian economy has some shocking revelations, he claimed.
"The cumulative investment in risky public sector by LIC from 1956 to 2014 was Rs 11.94-lakh crore, while in the last five years from 2014 to 2019 it almost doubled to Rs 22.64 lakh crore, an increase of Rs 10.7 lakh crore," the Congress leader said.
He alleged that the BJP government's fiscal management capabilities are very poor and household financial liabilities have doubled in the last five years. In 2012-2013, it was Rs 3.30 lakh crore, while in 2017-2018 it rose to Rs 7.41 lakh crore, an increase of Rs 4.11 lakh crore, which is more than double, Maken said.