SBI-State Bank of Indore merger in public interest: Govt

The merger is in "overall public interest," Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said while replying to the debate on the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Amendment Bill, 2010 in Rajya Sabha.

"Now, they (State Bank of Indore customers) can deposit and withdraw money from all the branches of State Bank of India," he said.

The Upper House later passed the bill seeking to omit all references to the State Bank of Indore, which was acquired by the SBI in July last year.

The Minister said the merger would provide access to customers of the State Bank of Indore, mainly in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, to all the 14,000 SBI branches across the country and abroad.

"Now, they can deposit and withdraw money from all the branches of State Bank of India," he said, adding that the acquisition was in "overall public interest."

He assured the members that the interest of the employees and retired employees of the acquired bank would be protected.

Answering queries of the members, Meena said there were 86,000 branches of various banks in the country out of which 32,000 were in rural areas.

"In recent times, the number of bank branches opened every year is around four to five thousand," Meena said.

He added that Indian banks were doing a "commendable job" and registering profits and that their performance was the same during the global recession period."The credit for this goes to the regulator Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the banks," he added.

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