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Though the govt has not yet named them, Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Bank of Maharashtra are tipped to be next in line for privatisation.
Bank employees fear they could lose their jobs and pensions once the proposed privatisation of the state-run banks comes through this financial year. Bank unions have vowed to organise indefinite strikes if any such announcement is made.
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Reports suggest that the Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and Bank of Maharashtra could be next in line for privatisation. The government has not yet named the banks.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget speech this year had announced that the central government would reduce its stake in two public sector banks, apart from IDBI Bank. In March this year, she had assured the employees that the banks would not be closed and the interest of the employees with respect to salaries, scale, pension would be taken care of.
Devidas Tuljapurkar, convener of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions told Mint, “Many employees are worried that even if there is no direct retrenchment, there might be large voluntary retirement schemes, pushing people to leave."
C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) said, “At the moment, we are going by what the finance minister said a few months ago and awaiting clarity from the government. However, I should mention that in case the scheme is detrimental to employees, we will go on indefinite strike unless such measures are rolled back."
Earlier, mergers of public sector banks did not automatically mean loss of jobs but the employees now fear the worst. Employees are concerned that the government ownership protection would be withdrawn, adding to the sense of insecurity. The bank unions are likely to put up a stiffer opposition to this privatisation move compared to last time.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)