Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bank union to protest against govt policies

New Delhi, Aug 8 (PTI) A section of officers of the public sector banks (PSBs) under AIBOC will hold a 'March-to- Parliament' protest tomorrow against a move to consolidate state-owned lenders and other "anti-worker" decisions of the government.

All India Bank Officers' Confederation General Secretary Harvinder Singh said AIBOC has called the protest on the same day (August 9) on which Gandhiji had launched Quit India movement in 1942 to oust the British from India, because it too wants to save the Indian economy from the clutches of capitalists and foreigners, while protecting PSBs.

More than 10,000 officers including from communication, power and other public sector entities will take part in the march, he said.

"We are opposing policies of the government that are leading to the foreign direct investment into critical sectors including banking. We want to oppose the privatisation. The government is not paying attention to our issues," Singh said.

The public sector banks are plagued with the rising non-performing assets (NPAs) problem and the government is not paying attention to correct that, he added.

Overall, the banking sector has stressed loans worth Rs 13 lakh crore of which the PSBs account for the major portion of Rs 10-11 lakh crore, Singh said.

"The federation has been demanding that government help recover the money, as the money belongs to the common man. The government is not paying attention to that. We are not even allowed to disclose the names of willful defaulters in the guise of secrecy. Rather, the PSBs are being maligned that they are not performing," he added.

AIBOC said the recently amended Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (Sarfaesi) Act, and the debt recovery tribunal (DRT) Act have flaws.

"The DRTs have become den of corruption. Cases remain pending for 10-15 years at the DRTs. We also want the government to allow the wilful defaulter cases to be tried as criminal offenses rather than civil," Singh said.

PSBs have transformed banking in the country during the last 50 years and have withstood various economic onslaughts and resisted the crisis without damage.

AIBOC is protesting against consolidation of PBU banks, increasing foreign capital leading to privatisation, grant of new bank licences among others.

Last month, PSU bank employees were on a one-day nationwide strike to protest against the government policies including merger of SBI's associates with the parent -- State Bank of India. 

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