Two-day bank strike from today: These services would be affected
Several key banking services across India would be affected on March 15 (today) and March 16 (tomorrow) as the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU)—an umbrella body of nine bank unions—has given a call for a two-day nationwide strike. The strike was called by UFBU to protest the Centre's proposal to privatize two Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and retrograde banking reforms. Here's more.
Over 10 lakh bank employees, officers participating in protest
All the nine bank unions, which are a part of UFBU, are participating in the strike. More than 10 lakh bank employees are taking part in the protest. Key banking services at bank branches like deposits, withdrawals, check clearances, and loan approvals, among others, are expected to be hit due to the strike. ATM services, however, are likely to remain available as usual.
Strike leads to four-day break in regular operations
The two-day nationwide bank strike called by UFBU will lead to a four-day-long break in the regular banking operations, causing major disruption of services to customers. To recall, the banks had remained closed on March 13 (second Saturday) and March 14 (Sunday).
List of bank unions taking part in strike
The participating bank unions include All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI). Also, the Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC), National Organization of Bank Officers (NOBO), and National Organization of Bank Workers (NOBW) are participating.
Only PSB employees are participating; private banks to function normally
It is important to note that only the employees of various Public Sector Banks are participating in the nationwide strike. Private banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, and Kotak Mahindra Bank, among others will remain functional as usual.
Centre proposed to privatize two PSBs under its disinvestment plan
While presenting the Budget 2021-22 on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced two PSBs, apart from IDBI bank, would be privatized as part of the Centre's disinvestment drive for generating Rs. 1.75 lakh crore. Although Sitharaman didn't mention any names, Reuters reported that four banks—Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, and Central Bank of India—could be on the shortlist.
Process of privatization might take around 5-6 months to start
Quoting a government source, Reuters reported that the actual process of privatization might take around 5-6 months to start. "Factors like number of employees, pressure of the trade unions, and political repercussions would impact a final decision," the source said.