The two-day nationwide bank strike called by United Forum of Bank Union ended on Friday, impacting normal operations across the country. Lakhs of employees of public sector banks were on strike to protest against the proposed privatisation of banks by the government. Banks will work as usual on Saturday, as it is a working day.
United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU) is 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).
Services like deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals remained paralysed due to the two-day strike. ATMs at different parts of the country went dry on the second day.
Government treasury operations, negotiating of import and export bills, grant of loans, cash transactions, etc. were not possible and clearing operations were affected.
In the three clearing centres of Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, about 39 lacs cheque worth about Rs 37,000 crore could not be taken up for clearance, (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.
AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Dutta said that about 7 lakh bank employees across the country enthusiastically participated in the two-day strike.
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. PTI DP DP BAL BAL