Bank officers to strike work on Aug 20

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Kottayam, Aug 13 (UNI) Bank officers all over India would strike work on August 20 in protest against the Centre's decision on merger of banks, All India Bank Officers Association organising secretary Jacob Mathew said today.

A release here said the government had kick started its reforms in the financial sector with the merger of banks. The cabinet had approved the merger of State Bank of Saurashtra with State Bank of India.

Though the government continued to assure that the public sector banks (PSBs) would not be privatised, various committees were appointed to suggest further reforms.

The Anwarul Hoda Committee had submitted its report, suggesting to consider a path towards reduction of government's share in PSBs.

The committee of financial sector reforms headed by Dr Reghuram Rajan had suggested that PSBs should be delinked from the government and must be allowed to seek private and foreign strategic partners, the release said.

Privatisation of banks would result in handing over the huge and hard earned savings to the private corporate sector. The total deposit in PSBs amounted to Rs 24 lakh crore at present, he said and appealed to the government to reject such recommendations and abandon all efforts to privatise PSBs.

The merger of banks would not make them stronger, moreover, it was against the interests of the commonman, he contended.

The amendment of Banking Regulation Act would allow 74 per cent FDI in banking sector with full voting rights and that would instantly make the existing private banks vulnerable to be taken over by foreign capital. The total capital of 26 private sector banks was Rs 4,200 crore, while they had a total deposit of Rs six lakh crore, he said.

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