If On the 19th of February, several bank unions and associations staged a protest against bank privatisation plans.
The protest was held at Indian state capitals opposing government’s privatisation plans of two public sector banks.
The decision to do the same was announced by Nirmala Sirharaman, the Union Finance Minister of India. During the recently happened Parliament Budget session, Ms. Sithraman announced privatisation of two public banks,
If the Government does not listen to their demands and take a decision regarding the same, the bank and All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) would intensify their agitation.
The AIBEA said, if the Government of India fails to fulfil their demands including withdrawal of privatisation of banks, they would march towards Union Parliament and would stage protests. The march towards Parliament would be held on the 10th of March.
The AIBEA leaders said, “On 10th March, we will hold a protest demonstration before Parliament during the Budget session.”
Nearly 10 lakh bank employees and officers under the United Forum of Unions participated in yesterday’s protest.
They would also participate in the next month’s march protest.
The 10 lakh employees and officers of the banks would also observe two days of continuous strike on 15-16 March, 2021.
The AIBEA said, “If the Government proceeds further, we will intensify the agitation and go for prolonged strikes and indefinite strike. We demand of the Government to reconsider their decision.”
The AIBEA said, “The only problem facing banks is the bad loans. Most of the bad loans are by the corporates and rich industrialists. Instead of taking action on them, the government wants to privatise and hand over the banks to them.”
The unions said if the banks would be privatised, it would be an issue for common people as private banks do not provide loans to poor, agricultural people and other small businesses. Instead, they give loans to big corporators.
They said private banks are not efficient to run and collapsed. They also justified their statement with examples of Yes Bank, Lakshmi Vilas Bank and others. Another reason of opposing is employment, the unions said public banks provide employment to many youth whereas in private jobs, it is contractual.
The unions which were a part of the agitation include: AIBEA, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC,) the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE,) the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBOA,) the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI,) Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF,) the Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC,) the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and the Non Objecting Beneficial Owners (NOBO) are agitating against government’s proposal.
Stay tuned for further updates.