Bankers to go on strike today

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 21: Over 10 lakh bankers will go on strike on August 22 as talks between the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) and Indian Banks’ Association with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) before the Chief Labour Commissioner failed on Friday.
This was informed by Malkeet Singh, State general secretary of Punjab National Bank Staff Union (PNBSU), while addressing a press conference here today.  “As the conciliation meeting before the Chief Labour Commissioner failed, unions are left with no other option but to go on strike,” he said and added that there was no assurance from the Government and the management of banks.
Malkeet Singh alleged that the Government was pushing Indian banking sector towards   privatization and consolidation in the garb of reforms. He said that the demand of UFBU include no write-off policy for Non- Performing Assets (NPAs) of corporate loans, declaring willful default of loans as criminal offence and implementation of recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPAs. He also suggested that banks should not pass on the burden of corporate NPAs on bank customers by hiking charges. “The banks are giving very little stress on recovery of bad loans and taking recourse to either write-offs or provisioning,” he alleged and added that rise in the gross NPAs of all the PSBs to Rs 6.83 lakh crore was also a major cause for concern and the banking system’s financial health was suffering due to provisioning.
Malkeet Singh informed that after the strike on August 22, a massive rally would be organized on September 15 followed by continuous strike for two days in October or November.
In the press conference, he was flanked by K K Matto, Chairman   PNBSU, Comrade Devinder Kumar Bittu and Comrade Vishavjeet Verma.
Meanwhile, a large number of bank employees belonging to all nationalized banks of Jammu, assembled here today at Shalamar Chowk and held a strong demonstration in favour of their issues and demands.
They were demanding  no  privatization of public sector banks,  stop  mergers plans  and consolidation of  banks, no  write off of corporate NPAs, declaring willful default  of bank loans as criminal offence, implementation of  recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recover of NPAs,  ensure accountability of top management/executives for bad loans and put in place stringent measures to recover bad loans, withdraw proposed FRDI Bill, abolish Banks Board Bureau, adequate recruitment in all cadres, etc.
While addressing the bank employees gathering, Com Arun Kumar Gupta, General Secretary of Jammu Province Bank Employees Federation, informed that the  Government has failed so far to assure employees on their charter of demands and therefore they were left with no option other than to proceed on one day strike tomorrow i.e. 22nd August 2017.
Those who addressed the demonstration, included  Com Ashwani Pradhan, Com. Ganesh Kumar, T K.Tikoo, Vinod Gupta, Kamal Kumar, Rakesh Gupta, R.K.Bhat, R.K.Bamba, Kewal Kumar, Yogesh Kumar, Harbans Lal and  Nazir Ahmed .


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