Since this is the pre-budget lobbying season, here is a pitch for an investor-friendly product that also collects money for the government. At the moment, banks and insurance companies are the octopus arms of the government that suck money out of households, destroy purchasing power with negative returns and hand over the money to the government to finance its deficit. I looked deeper into the numbers and found that the investment of just life insurance companies in central government securities as on 31 March 2013 was a huge Rs.5.1 trillion, or 5% of gross domestic product (GDP), for that year. Another Rs.10 trillion is in “state government and approved investments” and “approved investments”; and another Rs.2 trillion in “other investments”. The total investment by life insurance companies as on 31 March 2013 stood at Rs.17.44 trillion. Given that the total premium income of all life insurance companies was Rs.2.8 trillion for the year, the investment number must be the cumulative figure held by life insurance companies as on 31 March 2013.