In the 22nd national conference held by All India state bank of Patiala employees, different associations under the banner of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) decided to intensify the agitation and launch a nationwide campaign against the NDA government’s banking reform policies.
AIBEA’s general secretary SK Gautam said there were continuous attempts to push through the reforms agenda aimed at privatisation, consolidation and merger of banks.
“More and more private capital and FDI are being encouraged. The government has taken a decision to reduce their capital in public sector banks to 52% thus to allow private capital up to 48%. This will turn public sector banks to joint sector banks with increased role for private capital. IDBI bank is proposed to be privatised by reducing the government’s capital to 49%, he added.
He further added that licenses were being given to private enterprises to start their own private banks.
“Corporate houses like Reliance, Birla, Airtel, Vodofone are given license to start their own small banks and payment banks. This will create havoc for private sector banks through unhealthy competition from these private banks,” he added.
Dignitaries present there also raised concerns as how the associate banks like State Bank of Patiala are sought to be closed down and merged with State Bank of India. There were proposals to merge nationalised banks also in the name of consolidation and global competition. In fact associate banks should be de-linked from SBI and made independent to enable them to progress better, they added
Gautam added that the real problem in the banks is the increasing bad loans in the banks. There are nearly 6 lakh crores of bad loans/non-performing assets in the banks. The government knows that the bulk of these bad loans are amounts due from big corporate and business houses but still no action is being taken to recover these huge bad loans. Instead of recovery of the bad loans, concessions are being given to borrowers. Bad loans are being sold away to private assets reconstruction companies at throw away rates.
“7000 willful defaulters owe Rs 58,000 crores to the banks. But no action is taken against them. The demand of AIBEA to declare such willful defaults as criminal offence is being ignored, he added.
AIBEA has decided to observe a nation-wide protest next month against the government’s reforms aimed at privatisation, consolidation and merger of banks. State-level morchas will be held in different states. All India Morcha to Parliament will also be undertaken during the budget session next year. They have also decided to go on strike if the government will take any hurried steps to implement its one-sided banking reforms agenda.