Bank strike today, SBI to function - The New Indian Express

Bank strike today, SBI to function

Published: 20th December 2012 09:03 AM

Last Updated: 20th December 2012 09:03 AM

All banking operations and cash transactions will remain suspended on Thursday due to nation-wide strike by bank employees.

Three major bank employee unions _ All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees’ Federation of India (BEFI) _ gave the strike call to oppose the government’s move to introduce changes in banking laws and amendment to the Banking Regulation Act.

All banks, other than the State bank of India, will remain closed to transactions. The unions of SBI staff, including the National Confederation of Bank Employees and SBI Officers Association, are not joining the strike.

“Nearly 50,000 bank employees will participate in the strike on December 20. The other 20,000 are likely to support us with a pen-down strike,” said P. Venkataramaiah, general secretary of BEFI. He said old-generation private sector banks, apart from public sector and foreign banks, will participate in the strike.

“The move by the government will only increase the hold of corporate houses and foreign companies over Indian banking institutions. Also the changes being introduced will potentially risk the savings of salaried class who rely on banks for deposits,” he said.

The proposed amendment aims at raising the ceiling on voting rights for shareholders from 10 per cent to 26 per cent in case of private sector banks and from one percent to 10 per cent in case of public sector units.

Further, the issue of banking licence to corporates and NBFC to set up banking institutions has drawn huge protests from  employees.  “The increase in voting rights might lead to handing over the control of even public sector banks to foreign companies. Also, there have been incidents of private sector banks `decamping’ with savings of depositors. The foray of corporate houses does not guarantee the security of deposits,” the BEFI general secretary said.

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