Bank strike leads to estimated loss of Rs 15,000 crore

Pvt sector and foreign banks among hit

Bank strike leads to estimated loss of Rs 15,000 crore

Employees of public sector banks, private and foreign lenders abstained from work to protest the government’s decision to pass an amendment to the banking laws bill, outsourcing of bank jobs and other issues resulting into massive loss to banks.

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and industry of India (Assocham) estimated the loss between Rs 10,000 crore and Rs 15,000 crore per day due to the stir.

The All India Bank Officers Association estimated a loss of Rs 30,000 crore to the national economy on account of the two-day strike. Besides, employees stand to lose about Rs 300 crore due to non-payment of salary, Association President S S Shishodia said.

There are about 87,000 branches of over 25 public sector banks, employing over 10 lakh people. The PSU banks operate 63,000 ATMs, control about 75 per cent banking business in the country.

The strike affected work in as many as 12 private sector and eight foreign banks too. Bank sources said cash transactions, cheque clearances and funds to corporate sectors were affected, although ATMs continued to work across the country. All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatachalam claimed that the strike was successful. “There are number of issues like compassionate appointment, revised housing loan scheme to bank employees, improvements in pension scheme, implementation of settlement, defined and regulated working hours, 5 day banking etc which are pending for resolution for a long time.

“All these have compelled us to resort to agitation and strike call as IBA and government are not taking any positive steps,” he said in a statement.

Unions protesting the banking sector reforms claim the proposed banking sector amendment bill, which seeks to remove restrictions on voting rights of foreign shareholders and increase voting rights of private sector in state-run banks, will promote privatisation in banking sector and give more powers to foreign investors and corporates in the running of private banks.

Fund flows to the stock market were also affected as clearing operations were hampered. However, banking scrips ended largely unchanged in today's trade. Trading in the forex market were lacklustre, as the largest player State Bank of India did not participate.

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