Bank employees’ body protests merger move GUWAHATI, Dec 14 – Assam Provincial Bank Employees’ Association (APBEA) and All India Bank Officers’ Association, Assam State Committee (AIBOA, ASC) held a joint rally on Saturday in front of United Bank Building, Panbazar, here, a press release stated.
Addressing the joint rally, Dilip Kumar Sarma, general secretary of APBEA and Siba Prasad Bhattacharjee, president of AIBOA, ASC lambasted the Government’s alleged design to merge the State Bank of Indore with the State Bank of India by defying their written commitment to Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner on July 3, 2009 but with the approval of the Central Government.
They also alleged that the Central Government is planning to merge various profit-making public sector banks in the name of consolidation of the Indian banking system and make some so-called mega banks, conforming to international standards which is a ploy to serve the interest of big industrial houses and multinational corporations.
During the economic melt-down and financial crisis, particularly in USA, and other Western capitalist countries, big banks and mega financial institutions like Lehman Brothers collapsed like houses of cards they said adding that the people of the country requires expansion of public sector banks in order to serve the vast population, particularly in rural areas which are still unbanked.
The Government is in a hurry to avail the $2 billion loan from World Bank which will impose adverse conditions on public sector banks which today deal in Rs 39,00000 crore of people’s savings as deposits. This loan and addition to capital of the banks will enable the public sector banks to increase equal amount of private capital in the public sector banks, thus increasing the pressure and influence of the private capital in public sector banks.
They further stated that merger of banks will be followed by merger of bank branches as well as declaration of surplus manpower which will ultimately endanger jobs and job security of the employees and officers of the banks. They called upon the bank employees and officers to resist unitedly this design of the Government and make the all-India bank strike, slated for December called by AIBEA and AIBOA, a total success.
Dr Akhil Ranjan Dutta, Professor of Gauhati University, expressed grave concern over the Government’s ill-advised policy to merge public sector banks which will bring monopoly and ultimately deprive the general people, particularly the people of rural areas and backward regions, of availing of banking facilities.
He also expressed concern over the Government’s reported move to take Rs 15,000 crore loan from World Bank in the name of recapitalization of public sector banks which will only help foreign multinational corporations and imperialist powers to control, the public sector banks and will ultimately endanger the sovereignty of the nation.
He appealed to the people and organisations to support the bank employees in the interest of the people and nation as a whole, the release added.