Millennium Post

Bank staff to issue strike call if Nayak report not rejected

The All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), which represents five lakh employees of public sector, private sector and foreign banks, has threatened to issue a strike call if the Nayak Committee Report is not rejected, a senior union leader said on Wednesday. The development comes after the P J Nayak Committee submitted its report to the government recently, recommending privatisation of public sector banks by reducing the government's equity capital in banks to less than 50 per cent.

‘We shall give a call for strike if the report is not rejected. Banks deal with people's money. People's money should be available for people's welfare and not for private loot through private control,’ AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said, adding that the AIBEA would organise countrywide demonstrations, rallies and other protest programmes demanding rejection of the Nayak Committee report. The AIBEA has demanded that all private banks should be nationalised and brought under public sector banking, given the bad track record of private banks in the country.
‘Many private sector banks in our country have collapsed in the past due to mismanagement and cheating of customers. Hence public sector banks should not be privatised. Rather, they should be further strengthened and expanded,’ Venkatachalam said. He said it is a sad commentary on the wisdom of the Nayak Committee that it had recommended banks to be handed over to private hands at a time when the bulk of bad loans are attributable to the very same private sector.

‘More than Rs 4 lakh crore worth of bad loans are due to these big private corporate enterprises. We strongly condemn the retrograde recommendations of the Nayak Committee and demand its outright rejection,’ he said. He said that ever since major banks were nationalised in 1969, banking has been transformed from class banking to mass banking in the country. From mere 8,239 branches in 1969, there are more than 80,000 bank branches and nearly 36,000 of branches are located in rural and semi-urban locations, he said.
‘From mere Rs 5,000 crore of deposits in 1969, today banks have collected more than Rs 78 lakh crore from people as deposits. Total advances of Rs 3500 crores in 1969 has gone up to Rs 50 lakh crores.’
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