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SBI strike enters fourth day, business, exports jeopardised

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) Jeopardising business transactions and exports, the nationwide indefinite strike by employees of the State Bank of India (SBI) demanding pension scheme revision entered it's fourth day today even as Finance Minister P Chidambaram appealed for it's withdrawal.

Speaking to newspersons at Bangalore, Mr Chidambaram said that the striking employees should resume work instead of troubling the people by continuing the strike as their modified demand is being considered by the management.

He also said that unlike other PSU banks, SBI employees enjoy triple benefit of contributory provident fund, pension and gratuity.

Rejecting the Government plea that the officers unconditionally withdraw the strike before any consideration of their demands by the government, an estimated 2.10 lakh employees of 9022 branches said they would continue with the agitation till the government accepts their demands.

The striking SBI employees this morning held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar, demanding a revision of the pension rate.

The All India State Bank of India Staff Federation and the All India State Bank of India's Officers' Federation, claimed that operations in branches, including nearly 1,000 in the Delhi region, are being affected by the strike.

The strike is becoming detrimental to the economy and is partially crippling exports as it enters into its fourth day, a government official said today.

''The Export of commodities, subject to cess have been held up as in most places, the cess is to be deposited with the State Bank and LCs to be negotiated with SBI are lying unattended,'' said Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) President O P Garg.

''The strike has affected business transactions of the bank in foreign exchange and money market. Since most of the clearing business is with SBI, the strike has impacted inter bank transactions also, FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai added.

Reports of the commmon people being put to inconvenience because of the strike have come in from almost all states. Reiterating the commitment to continue the strike till their demands were met about 80,000 employees in 785 branches in West Bengal continued their demonstrations and dharnas in front of their respective branches today.

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