Govt Says Not Every Public Sector Bank Will Be Sold To Private Firms; Salaries of Employees Will Be Taken Care Of

FM Nirmala Sitharaman responds to the two-day bank strikes and insists the importance of bank privatisation.
FM Nirmala Sitharaman responds to the two-day bank strikes and insists the importance of bank privatisation.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has responded to the two-day bank strike, held on March 15 and 16 by 9 bank unions, as a protest against the government’s decision of privatisation of two more public sector banks, in extension to a general insurer.

While has covered all the banks which will not be a part of the FY22 targeted privatisation, Sitharaman clarified that not all banks will be privatised, and added that in the event of privatisation, each bank employee’s interest will be conserved.

She also once again insisted on the government’s reason behind privatisation of banks. too has covered the same, you can find it linked here.

‘Privatisation is a Well-Thought Decision’, Sitharaman

In response to the Finance Minister’s Union Budget (2021) announcement of privatisation of two more public sector banks, the bank union body United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), along with 9 other bank unions conducted a two day nationwide strike, on Monday and Tuesday.

This came after two consecutive bank holidays, leading to a four-day bank break, which hit the ‘key banking operations across the country’, states NDTV.

In response to the bank strikes conducted for two days, Finance minister Sitharaman has confirmed that not all public sector banks shall be privatised.

She also assured that in the event of privatisation of any public bank, the interest of every employee will be protected.

Addressing the media, she said, “The decision of Privatization is a well thought out decision. We want Banks to get more equity… We want banks to meet the aspirations of the country”.

She also insisted on the public sector enterprise policy, as per which the government will continue with PSBs.

Bank Strikes and List of Banks Out of the Privatisation Process

In her Union Budget speech on February 1, FM Niramala Sitharaman announced the government’s decision to conduct the privatisation process of two more public sector banks, besides IDBI Bank, along with two insurance companies, in upcoming financial year FY22.

The privatisation process will be a part of the government’s disinvestment drive of Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

The United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions conducted a two-day nationwide bank strike on March 15 and 16, to oppose anymore privatisation of banks.

About 10 lakh bank employees and staff were anticipated to join the strike.

However, the government think tank Niti Aayog has recommended eliminating PSBs in their last round of consolidation and SBI from the privatisation plan.

They include PNB, Union Bank, Canara Bank and Indian Bank, and Bank of Baroda, besides SBI.

While bank mergers came into effect in FY2020, banks are yet to complete their integration process. Consequently, including these banks in the privatisation drive shall turn out to be disruptive.

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