New Delhi: Government on Wednesday appointed V.K. Sharma as the chairman of state-owned behemoth Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC) for five years.
“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the department of financial services for appointment of V.K. Sharma, MD, LIC, as chairman, LIC in fixed pay of Rs80,000 (pre-revised) for a period of five years...or up to the date of his superannuation, or until further orders..,” said an official statement.
Sharma has been serving as LIC’s managing director (MD) since November 2013.
Having joined the body as a direct recruit officer in 1981, Sharma has served as the chief executive of its mortgage subsidiary LIC Housing Finance Ltd and zonal manager in charge of the south zone.
Managing director at LIC, Sharma was already acting as chairman since September 16 when the then chairman S.K. Roy was relieved of his duties. Roy had resigned in June, nearly two years ahead of his retirement.
Roy, appointed by the previous UPA government, had resigned nearly two years ahead of completion of his five-year term. He was serving as the chairman since June 2013.
LIC is the largest financial institution in the country with over Rs22.10 trillion in assets, which is over 15% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) of Rs134 trillion.
With around Rs40,000 crore profit last fiscal, LIC is the most profitable entity in the country, next only to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which transferred Rs66,000 crore of its surplus profit to the government in the past fiscal.
With such huge asset base and practically no debt, even a 10% divestment in LIC can net the government billions of dollars and can massively catapult the market capitalization on BSE.
LIC’s total income stood at Rs4.31 trillion, of which premium income constituted Rs2 trillion, investment income Rs1.50 trillion and other income Rs14,247 crore for the financial year ended March 2016.