Amid bank strike, Nirmala Sitharaman says not all banks will be privatised

Amid bank strike over the proposed privatisation of the public sector banks, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said not all banks are going to be privatised adding the interests of the employees will be taken care of.

“We have announced a Public Enterprise Policy, where we have identified 4 areas where public sector presence will be there, in this, the financial sector too is there. Not all banks are going to be privatized, she said.

“Interests of workers of banks which are likely to be privatized will absolutely be protected – whether their salaries or scale or pension, all will be taken care of,” Sitharaman added.

“Even for those banks which are likely to be privatized, the privatized institutions too will continue to function after privatization; the interests of the staff will be protected,” the Union Minister said.

The two-day nationwide banker’s strike in protest against privatisation of government banks was a total success, said the top leader of a major union. The strike began on Monday. As per reports received by us from our unions in  various states, the strike has been successful. Overwhelming majority of the bank branches remain closed and shutters are down, said CH  Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Employees’ Association (AIBEA).

He said some branches headed by senior officers were open but no banking transaction could be carried out as other staff were on strike. The central government has decided to privatise two public sector banks in addition to the IDBI  Bank, and the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) had given the strike call in protest. The UFBU, an umbrella body of nine unions in the banking sector, had given the strike call.