Public sector banks may go on strike: How does it affect you

As nine bank unions with 10 lakh employees across India are holding a strike against privatisation of public sector banks (PSBs) on Tuesday, services at PSBs are likely to be hit.

As many as 21 PSBs, such as State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, control 75 per cent of the total business. This is expected to affect the day-to-day economic activities of the common people.

How to deal with the strike

While 10 lakh bank employees of around 132,000 branches will go on strike, crucial banking services will be hindered.

Cash transactions at ATMs are likely to be disrupted while cash deposits and cheque clearances will not be processed. The PSBs have already cautioned their customers about service interruption in case the strike took place.

But as a part relief, the services of private lenders such as HDFC Bank, ICICI, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank are expected to stay unaffected except for some delay in cheque clearances.

Why the strike?

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), constituted by nine separate bank unions, have called a day-long strike in view of several demands. One of the key issues for the strike, the union claims, is the consolidation and privatisation of public-sector banks (PSB) proposed by the Centre as part of banking-sector reforms.

The West Bengal convener of UFBU said that the Bank Board Bureau was formed to bring all the PSBs under a banking investment company and reduce the government’s share in them below 50 percent.

They are also demanding no write-off policy for non-performing assets (NPAs) of corporate loans, laws to declare wilful default of loans as criminal offence and implementation of recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPAs.

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The strike has come about following the failure of talks between the unions’ umbrella body UFBU and chief labour commissioner.

With inputs from PTI.