This is an interesting Press Release from PIB.
LIC has started giving its employees Sodexo food coupons as an incentive. It seems from the press release that some members of Rajya Sabna raised questions (on 15 Mar 20110 over whether this was a scam as well , criteria for selection etc.
Minister of State for Finance, Mr Namo Narain Meena clarified there is no scam:
The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has informed that it has introduced a scheme of providing food coupons to its employees with effect from 01.09.2010. The amount spent on the scheme and the payment made to M/s Sodexo SVC India Pvt. Ltd. for food coupons from September, 2010 to December, 2010 is as under:
|Month||Amount (Rs. Crore)|
LIC has reported that there is no scam and scheme of food coupon has been introduced with the view to increase employees satisfaction as motivation tools which is manifested in team-work, building client relationship and idea generation.
LIC has intimated that a committee was constituted to evaluate and select the service provider for supply of food coupons. The committee finalized the service provider M/s Sodexo SVC on the basis of the network affiliates, financial strength, market presence, existing cliental base and quality of service delivery on pan India basis. Regarding the rates, LIC informed that the coupons are issued on face value with no service or delivery charges being levied by the vendor.
The news tells you a couple of things.
- First, this truly is time of scams. People are looking at a scam in any and every government related transaction.
- Second, there must be real pressure on public sector organisations. Sodexo coupons is a pretty common facility used by many organisations in metros. It is very popular and accepted at quite a few places as cash. It works as a major incentive for most people as it helps them buy groceries, food etc. Infact it works as a nice nudge as people don’t mind shelling more coupons than cash in these inflationary times. So to see it being questioned in Parliament speaks of the kind of pressure the PSUs must be facing.
- Third, this blog pointed to this nice research which shows how Indian Public Sector Bank executives are not aggressive in giving private sector credit. One of the reason they say is they are afraid that any bad loan could lead to government inquiry. Well, this LIC example shows how careful one has to be in taking decisions in public sector organisations. As Mr Meena explains there was a committee to decide which company coupons would be given. Some might call this a limitation, but that is how it is going to be.