Employees of public sector banks (PSBs) on Thursday went on two-day strike against the move to privatise public sector banks impacting normal banking operation across the country.
Many branches across different parts of the country were shut as 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 two day strike call.
As a result, services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals might be affected due to the strike. But ATMs are expected to function as usual.
Public sector lenders, including State Bank of India, had informed customers that services in their branches might be affected due to the strike.
However, the private sector, especially new generation private sector lenders, like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, 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 C H Venkatachalam told PTI.
AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Dutta said that about 7 lakh across the country are participating in the two-day strike.
It is unfortunate that the working in over 1 lakh branches of the banks and regional rural banks has been impacted due to the strike due to the government’s attitude, Dutta said.
“All banking services are impacted from cash withdrawals to deposits, business transactions, loan process, cheque clearing, account opening and business transactions,” he said.
In the Union Budget presented in February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of its disinvestment plan.
To facilitate privatisation, the government has listed the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, for introduction and passage during the current session of Parliament.
The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019 and merged 14 public sector banks in the past four years.