August 7, 2017
The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has called for a nation-wide strike on August 22. AIBEA represents employees of both public and private sector banks along with nine bank unions. The association has called for a strike to push for a variety of demands and protest against merger and privatisation of public sector banks according to the Economic Times.
C H Venkatachalam, the general secretary of AIBEA, said, “Nearly 10 lakh employees would participate in the strike to protest plans to privatise public sector banks, merger and consolidation of banks and other demands including not to write-off non-performing assets (NPAs) in banks.”
Some of the other demands of AIBEA include declaring wilful defaulting of loans a criminal offence, implementing the recommendations of Parliamentary Committee among others. The strike might affect clearing of cheques and cash tractions at bank branches. However, it will not affect functioning of ATMs or mobile and internet banking services.
Venkatachalam further claimed that the State Bank of India (SBI) wrote off around Rs 93,041 crore of bad loans in the last five years. For 2016-17, bad loans by the SBI Group was Rs. 27,574 crore while for SBI alone it was Rs.20,339 crore. He also said that no concrete steps have been taken to resolve the issue of bad loans.
AIBEA feels that the burden of bad loans are being passed onto the common people by banks as they have reduced the interest rates on savings account. The statement released by the general secretary of AIBEA also mentions that after the proposed strike on August 22, the association plans to conduct a massive rally on September 15 and go on strike for two consecutive days in the coming months.