Mumbai: Banking services remained affected on Tuesday as employees of state-run banks are on a nation-wide one day strike to protest against the government's mega-merger plan.
In August, the government announced a plan to merge 10 public sector lenders into four to create fewer and stronger global-sized banks.
It had announced four new sets of mergers of state-run banks-- Punjab National Bank taking over Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India; Syndicate Bank merging with Canara Bank; Union Bank of India will amalgamate with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank; and Indian Bank will merge with Allahabad Bank.
"Already the government has effected the merger of associate banks with SBI and Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda, and in this process around three thousand bank branches have been closed. If this (of 10 banks) merger takes place may be another two thousand bank branches will be closed," All India Banks Employees Association (AIBEA) said.
The union said the government is merging banks to serve the interests of big businesses who have looted these banks in the form of non-payment of loans.
The one-day strike has been called by AIBEA and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI).
However, officers and private sector banks are not part of the strike call given by the two unions.
The union further said on the one count the government is closing small banks while at the same time small finance banks in the private sector are being issued licenses and in the process banking business is being privatised.
Last month, officers' unions had called a two-day all India bank strike on September 26 and 27, which was later withdrawn following the government's intervention.