The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has opposed the RBI move to grant banking licenses to private entities and expressed apprehension that this will lead to "profiteering" and is "inimical" to the interest of the country.
"The government is proposing to give licences to various business houses like Tata, Birla, Ambani, etc, to start private banks. This is not only harmful for the country but also make banking very costly.
"The issuing of license will not only result in ignoring the priority sector but will also lead to profiteering as it will be the sole motive of the corporates. We oppose this proposal in toto," said AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatchalam.
He was addressing a national conference of the Federation of Bank of India Staff Unions here. The United Forum of Bank Unions, representing employees of public and private sector banks, has already announced observing of a one-day national strike on December 19 for various demands.
"...Prior to 1969, banks were owned by private business houses and because of their mismanagement, banks were nationalised by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. Now, again giving license to private players will be harmful for our country," he said.
Venkatchalam criticised as "retrograde" the RBI guidelines over foreign banks. "RBI in its guidelines allowed foreign banks to take over our domestic banks even they do just over 3 per cent business in India. This should be withdrawn...We need further expansion of banks and strengthening of PSUs," he added.
Venkatachalam said the strike call was given for demands like takeover and merger of banks, rising percentage of bad loans in banks, handing over rural credit to private contract agencies, outsourcing of regular bank jobs, etc.
He said the AIBEA would observe December 5 as "All India Demands Day" by wearing badges and holding rallies.
"The demands include publishing names of defaulters of bank loans of above Rs one crore; making wilful default a criminal offence; amendment of recovery laws among others," Venkatachalam said.