Bank unions call for all-India strike on September 25
The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India have called for an all-India bank strike on September 25 to protest against the Government’s proposal to effect mergers among public sector banks.
They are also against the merger of Associate Banks with State Bank of India (SBI).
“It is naked double standard and dichotomy that while private sector banks are being encouraged and allowed to be expanded, public sector banks are sought to be consolidated and merged.
“This is totally against the objectives of public policy under the nationalisation of banks envisaged and committed by the Government,” said the two trade unions in a joint statement.
There is a need to increase the reach of banking services as nearly 60 crore people in the country still don’t have bank accounts and more than 5 lakh villages in the country do not have a bank branch, the statement said.
“More and more branches have to be opened by all the banks to reach the people. But the Government’s policy is misdirected. It wants to consolidate the public sector banks while the need is to expand them,” opined the unions.
Referring to efforts under way to hand over licences to big industrial and business houses to launch banking operations, the unions said pre-nationalisation, all banks were in private hands and their track-record was only well known to the country.
“Even in developed countries like the US, corporate and industrial houses are not given licence to run banks. The whole world has experienced financial turmoil due to them. But, our Government wants to reverse the clock,” said C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA.
The unions say SBI is merely a shareholder in Associate Banks, having invested in their capital.
“Even though these banks are known as Associate Banks of State Bank of India, SBI is neither the promoter of these banks nor the owner,” claimed the statement.
According to the unions’ assessment, out of the net owned fund of Rs 26,436 crore (including share capital of Rs 482 crore) of the Associate Banks, SBI’s investment is only Rs. 430 crore.
The Associate Banks — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore — have a total network of more than 5,200 branches, which constitute about 8 per cent of the total branches of public sector banks.
“There are many private banks in our country which have far less business and far less impressive performance than the Associate Banks.
When all the banks are able to survive in the market, what is the need to merge these Associate Banks (with SBI)?,” said the statement.
Bank unions call for all-India strike on September 25 Reviewed by Manohar Veera on 10:28:00 PM Rating: