Services at the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and other lenders will be impacted during a two-day nationwide bank strike this week. To protest against Centre’s proposed move to privatise public sector banks, the bank officers and trade unions had started a campaign — ‘Bank Bachao, Desh Bachao’ at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on December 1. The rally was led by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC). Several other stakeholders and union members from various parts of the country attended the protest. Now, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) called a two-day strike on December 16 and 17. “Privatising PSBs will hurt the priority sectors of the economy and also credit flow to self-help groups and to the rural economy,” Sanjay Das, general secretary of All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) told PTI.
SBI Services Will be Affected:
The normal functioning of branches and ATM of State Bank of India is likely to be affected during two-day nationwide bank strike, starting from December 16. “We have been advised by the lndian Banks’ Association (lBA) that United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has served a Notice of Strike, informing that the members of the constituent Unions of UFBU viz. AIBEA, AIBOC, NCBE, AIBOA, BEFI, INBEF and INBOC propose to go on a nationwide Bank Strike on l6th & l7th December 2021 in support of their demands,” the lender said in a regulatory filing. “We advise that while the Bank has made necessary arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices on the days of Strike, it is likely that work in our Bank may be impacted by the Strike,” the bank further stated.
Bank Strike from December 16: Who will Participate?
The unions represented by the National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) and National Organisation Of Bank Workers (NOBW) and officers’ organisations represented by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) had decided to go on a strike on December 16 and December 17.
Why Bank Unions are Protesting:
In Budget 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the government’s plan to privatise public sector banks as part of a disinvestment drive to garner Rs 1.75 lakh crore.
The Centre earlier mentioned to introduce the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the ongoing Winter session of Parliament. The bill aims to amend the provision in the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970, which makes it mandatory for the government to hold 51 per cent stake in public sector banks at all times. The new bill will reduce the government’s minimum shareholding to 26 per cent. Bankers have appealed to the government to withdraw the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
PNB and Other Bank Services to be Impacted
After State Bank of India (SBI), three more banks, Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, and RBL Bank, said that their operations will be affected due to the bank strikes this week. “While Bank has made all arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices, it is likely that work in our Bank may be impacted by the strike,” PNB said in a statement to the stock exchanges. Central Bank of India earlier mentioned that it is taking all necessary steps in terms of the existing guidelines to deal with the strike and for the smooth functioning of its branches and offices. “However, in the event of strike branches or offices may be impacted,” it said.
“The bank will take all necessary steps for smooth functioning of the Bank’s Branches/Offices on the days of strike. However, it is likely that some of our branches would also be impacted by the strike, in case it materialises,” RBL Bank said.
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