Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Normal banking operations may take a hit as public sector bank employees are on strike Friday to protest against the proposed merger of associate banks with SBI and banking reforms announced by the government.
The unions in the banking sector has given the strike call to protest the merger of the five associate banks with the State Bank of India (SBI) and the privatisation of the IDBI Bank.
The unions are opposed to the government`s decision to merge the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad with the SBI.
According to All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam, the strike was against the unwarranted banking reform measures.
According to Venkatachalam, unmindful of the adverse implications, the government was pursuing the reform measures in the banking sector like inadequate infusion of capital in public sector banks, which will result in reduction of government`s equity capital and create compulsion for higher extent of private capital leading to privatisation of banks.
He said the unions also opposed the decision to privatise IDBI Bank by reducing the government capital to less than 49 percent, proposals of consolidation for public sector banks but expansion for private sector banks, giving licences to corporate houses to start banks, ineffective steps to recover the bulging bad loans in the banks, and rather showering concessions to the defaulters and others.
"We demand that willful and deliberate defaulters should be declared as criminal offenders and punished," he said.
Venkatachalam said bank loans wilfully defaulted by borrowers totalled Rs 58,792 crore.
He said the total quantum of bad loans of the government-owned banks stood at Rs 539,995 crore as of March 31, 2016.
"But the government and the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) are not taking tough measures to recover the bad loans. Even the (defaulters`) names are not being published," he said.
The unions are also opposed to the move to privatise regional rural banks and co-operative banks, and consolidate and merge banks.
With Agency Inputs