Agitation hits rural bank operations in 2 Orissa districts

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Baripada, Jan 11 (UNI) Banking activities in the rural areas of the two contiguous tribal-dominated districts of Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar in Orissa came to a grinding halt for the second day today following the two-day strike by the employees of the ''Baitarani Gramya Bank'', the Regional Rural Bank(RRB) for the two districts, officials said.

As the tribals of both districts were very much tuned up to the habit of banking activities through the RRBs, the economic activities in the two districts received a severe jolt on the two days, an official of the Gramya Bank here said.

All the 102 branches of the BGB remained closed on both days, claimed Nachiketa Das, general secretary of the BGB Officers' Association. Even the Head Office (Administrative office of the Chairman of the RRB) at Baripada remained closed as the slogan shouting officials continued their picketing on both the days.

The RRB employees have been demanding among other things restoration of the ''compassionate appointment'' of any relative of an employee, who might die in harness, parity in pay and all emoluments available to the sponsor bank staff and the gramya bank employees, introduction of proper and uniform manpower planning, recruitment and promotion policies and pensionary benefits.

The strike call given by the All India Regional Rural Bank Employees' Association(AIRRBEA) was a total success, spokesperson of the Association said.

UNI XC-DP SJC AM AS2315

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