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SBI strike enters fifth day, state govts try to meet fin reqireme

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) The nationwide SBI strike which entered the fifth day today has left many state governments struggling with the resultant non-payment of salary to employees and the clearance of other obligations for the financial year-ending.

In Uttar Pradesh, in a stop gap arrangement, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has authorised Allahabad Bank to make payments for all government bills in the strike period.

The UP government conducts a business of over Rs 5,000 crore daily through SBI, while in total, the bank transacts a business of around Rs 20,000 crore daily in the state.

State Principal Secretary (Finance) Shekhar Agarwal said here all possible steps had been taken to control the situation following the strike.

''Salary distribution through Allahabad Bank has started in several districts today, but it will take some time to control the situation,'' he added.

In Manipur, financial transactions were affected and disbursement of salaries and pensions for state government employees also could not be withdrawn.

Banking operations in all the 33 branches of the State Bank of India in Tripura remained paralysed due to the employees strike.

In Nagaland, transactions in SBI branches in the state were affected due to the ongoing strike which resulted in non-payment of salaries to the government employees.

However, the strike has not adversely affected the stock market where the SBI Scrip has moved more or else in line with the Sensex.

On April 3, the first day of strike by its employees, the SBI share staged a smart rally and closed at 983.55, which was in sync with the runaway rise of 284.4 points in the Sensex.

After having touched 1006.6 on Wednesday, the scrip dropped to 974 today, which is again in line with the sharp decline in the Sensex suggesting clearly that the investors do not seem to have been ruffled by the impact the strike could have on SBI's business. Even the reported threat by the Government to shift its big treasury and tax business from the SBI to other banks has not created any significant effect on the investors sentiment.

Meanwhile in the capital, the Delhi unit of the United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU) decided to hold a protest march to Parliament on April 10 to extend support to State Bank of India employees' strike.

Services in 9022 branches of SBI continue to be affected due to the indefinite strike by an estimated 2.10 lakh bank workers and officers across the country.

Scores of people, especially pensioners and government employees, have not been able to encash their cheques due to the strike.

The striking SBI employees, demanding a revision of the pension rate, said they will continue with the agitation till the government accepted their demands.

They rejected Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Bank Chairman A K Purwar's appeal to call off strike and resume negotiations.

''The agitation will continue till the government fulfills our demands,'' All India State Bank of India Staff Federation (AISBISF) Vice President V K Gupta said.

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 entire system has been paralysed... all operations have been suspended,'' All India State Bank of India's Officers' Federation Vice President T N Goel claimed.


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