Public sector banks' strike against privatisation disrupts banking operation countrywidetext_fields
After the employees of public sector banks (PSBs) went on a two-say trike against privatization of PSBs on Thursday, normal banking operation across the country was hit at several places.
The United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions including All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW), had given a two-day strike call. Though services such as deposits and withdrawals at banks, cheque clearance and loan approvals may be affected, ATMs are expected to function as usual.
Public sector lending, including the State Bank of India, had informed customers that their services might be affected due to the strike. Private sector lenders, however, are working as usual.
The strike is against the government's decision to privatise public sector banks which have been playing a vital role in nation-building, AIBEA general secretary CH Venkatachalam said.
7 lakh across the country are participating in the two-day strike, said AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Dutta. He added that it is indeed unfortunate that the working of over a lakh branches of banks and regional rural banks have been affected due to the government's attitude.
"All banking services are impacted from cash withdrawals to deposits, business transactions, loan process, cheque clearing, account opening and business transactions," he said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the privatisation of two public sector banks in the Union Budget presented in February as part of the government's disinvestment plan. Furthermore, the government has listed the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, for introduction and passage during the current session of the parliament to facilitate privatisation.
The IDBI bank has already been privatised. The government sold its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019. Furthermore, 14 public sector banks have been merged in the past four years.