India: The country-wide Bank Strike enters the second day as lakhs of employees continue to protest against the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs). The Bank Strike that commenced on Monday impacted several banking services such as withdrawals, deposits, cheque clearances and remittances. At some places, ATMs went dry as there was a rush to withdraw cash due to a two-day weekend and two-day strike. On Tuesday, most of the branches are set to remain closed. Internet banking continues to be the only option for customers till today evening.
Like Monday, there are high chances that the Bank strike will witness 100 per cent participation from scale I, II and III bank employees on Tuesday, a bank official said. A total of 2.01 crore cheque instruments worth Rs 16,500 crore could not be processed at the three national grids — Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, as per data provided by the bank unions on Monday. The situation will by and large remain the same, as per a PTI report.
All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOC) General Secretary Sowmya Dutta said if the central government does not listen to protestors, then there will be an indefinite strike. “The striking employees took out rallies, wherever permitted, across the country and held sit-in protests. If the government does not listen to them, they will go for an even bigger, indefinite strike, on the lines of the ongoing farmers’ agitation. We are connected with crores of the population through our branches, we are educating our customers about the government’s ill policies and how it is going to impact them,” Dutta said.
Asserting that privatisation is not the solution, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) said all the banks are making profits and it is only because of bad loans and provisions that lenders are incurring losses.”In fact, if banks are privatised and sold, only the big corporate and business houses can purchase our banks. Private companies are the defaulters in banks. Can we hand over our banks to the same private sector? “Further, even today, many private banks are not doing well. Last year, Yes Bank ran into serious problems. The bank would have collapsed but for the immediate help from SBI and others. It is unfortunate that still, the government wants to privatise our banks,” AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said.