Millennium Post

LIC's buy of 51% IDBI Bank shares is privatisation plot

New Delhi: IDBI Bank officers have opposed the proposed 51 per cent acquisition of the bank's stake by LIC, saying this is a clear move to privatise it, bypassing the assurance given to Parliament.

"The subjective move of the Government of India tantamount to reneging on the solemn assurance given by the then Finance Minister of the NDA Government on the floor of Parliament on December 8, 2003 that post conversion, the government shall at all times, maintain not less than 51 per cent of the issued capital of the Company.

"This solemn assurance given on the floor of Parliament forms part of the records of the Parliamentary Committee on Assurances formed the very basis for the ultimate passage of the IDBI (Transfer of Undertaking and Repeal) Bill, 2002," All India IDBI Officers' Association General Secretary Vithal Koteswara Rao said in a representation to Union Minister Arun Jaitley.

Taking into consideration the fact that the bank has been consecutively posting healthy operating profits, burgeoning provisioning to NPAs and write offs are acting as a drag on the bottom line of the bank, he said.

"While we demand of the Government of India to put in place stringent measures for recovering the Non-Performing Assets and fix accountability on all the concerned for the burgeoning Non-Performing Assets and mammoth write offs, we fervently urge upon the Government of India to rescind its contemplated move to divest its equity in IDBI Bank below 51 per cent in contravention of the solemn assurance given by the NDA Government to Parliament," Rao added. As the contemplated decision which is only a facade for virtual privatisation of IDBI Bank will adversely impact the interests of the officers and staff, the United Forum of IDBI officers and employees through this letter registers unequivocal opposition and protest over the reported decision of the government to dilute its stake in the bank in favour of LIC leading to privatisation of the bank, he noted.

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