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Bank Employees Protest Against New Policies

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Members from various bank associations, including the All India Bank Employees Association, have made a protest march to Parliament on Friday opposing the government’s new banking policies.

The protest was against the government’s decisions such as merger of banks, privatisation of public sector banks and write-off of corporate bad loans.

The agitation held under the umbrella of United Forum of Bank Unions and will have members from National Confederation of Bank Employees, All India Bank Officers Confederation and All India Bank Officers Association among others.

Functioning of banks will not be affected. According to United Forum of Bank Unions, government’s decision to merge banks is not in public favour.

“What is the need for merger of banks? Instead, there is a need to further strengthen our public sector banks and open more and more branches to serve the people,” Sanjeev K. Bandlish, Convenor of United Forum of Bank Unions, told reporters here on Thursday.

He said that merger will prevent new recruitment in banking sector.

After the agitation, members from the forum will also submit their memorandum of demands to the Prime Minister’s Office and Finance Minister.

The forum also urged the government to stop write-off of corporate bad loans and start their recovery.

Stating that currently the country has a bad laon of Rs 15 lakh crore, the forum said that bulk of bad loans are due from private companies, business houses and corporate.

“What is required today is recovery of bad loans from the private companies and not hand over the banks to the very same private sector,” said K.K. Nair, Chairman, United Forum of Bank Unions.

According to the body, 80 per cent of the loan defaulters are from 89 top borrowers, which are the corporate houses.

“Due to these bad loans not fetching any interest, there is a loss of interest income to the banks to the tune of around Rs 1,50,000 crore. So, the profits are also depressed due to this loss of revenue. In addition, banks are also providing and writing-off huge sums from the profits,” said the body in a statement issued after the media briefing.

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