New Delhi: Employees of public sector banks (PSBs), including the State Bank of India (SBI), went on strike for two days in protest of the government’s plan to privatise them, disrupting banking operations across the country. However, the private sector is operating normally, particularly new-generation private-sector lenders such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
Lakhs of public sector bank employees went on strike for the second day on Friday to protest the government’s proposed privatisation of banks, which would disrupt routine operations across the country.
The United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions including the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), and National Organisation of Bank Workers, called a strike on Friday, closing branches in several regions of the country (NOBW).
As a result of the two-day strike, services such as deposits and withdrawals at branches, check clearance, and loan applications are still delayed.
The protest is in response to the government’s intention to privatise public sector banks, which have played an important role in nation building, according to (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam.
According to AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Dutta, over 7 lakh people throughout the country are taking part in the two-day protest.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of the Union Budget’s disinvestment strategy in February.
The government has scheduled the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, for introduction and passage during the current session of Parliament in order to allow privatisation.
The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority interest to LIC in 2019 and merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years.