Bank of Rajasthan employees protest against merger with ICICI

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Mumbai, June 5 (ANI): Over 4200 employees of Bank of Rajasthan began a two-day nationwide strike here on Friday to protest the bank's management proposal to merge with the ICICI Bank.

The two-day strike would be followed by a three-day strike starting from June 17 to June 19.

Vishwas Utagi, Secretary of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) demanded the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to probe this deal and not approve the merger of the banks.

"The entire Bank of Rajasthan is totally closed because 4,200 officers as well as employees are on strike. Its head office is in Udaipur and its Corporate Office is in Mumbai. The board of Bank of Rajasthan has decided to approve the merger with the ICICI Bank and ICICI Bank has approved the merger with Bank of Rajasthan," said Utagi.

"The employees and the officers are opposed to this merger proposal. We are requesting the Reserve Bank of India to review the deal and not to give any such approval for this proposal," he added.

Utagi further said the major shareholders of the bank- Tayal Business Group had swindled money in millions of rupees and had taken over the bank's board.

The RBI had then slapped a fine of Rs 2.5 million on the bank for violating its guidelines in financial matters.

Utagi alleged that despite this fact, the board members of the Rajasthan Bank approved its merger with the ICICI Bank on May 18.

He also stated that Tayal Business Group had 55 percent share holding in the Bank, which was contested by Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), who claimed that it had only 30 percent.

"Why is RBI allowing the merger of this bank? This is our question. This is very intriguing factor; when RBI claims that there is corporate governance. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee claims that there is corporate governance prevailing in SEBI, RBI and Finance Ministry," said Utagi.

"Then how the corporate governance is at doldrums when the Tayal family (major shareholder of Rajasthan Bank) is looting this bank openly," he added.

Utagi further said that if their appeal is not heard, they would move this issue to the Supreme Court. (ANI)

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