Patna: In a move to press their demands for immediate wage revision and withdrawal of banking sector reforms in the country, over 50,000 bank employees in the state, including those of public and private sector and regional rural banks, went on two-day strike on Monday as part of the nationwide strike of bank employees. General secretary, Bank Employees’ Federation of Bihar, Bindeshwar Prasad claimed banking transactions worth over Rs 5,000 crore were affected in the state on the first day of the strike.
The strike took a heavy toll on cheques’ clearance, cash transactions and ATMs’ services, Prasad claimed, adding that employees of private sector banks, including ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank and HSBC bank, in solidarity with public sector bank employees, were also on strike.
General secretary, All India Gramin Bank Officers’ Association, D N Trivedi said over 6,500 bankers working in 1,672 branches of all the three gramin banks of the state – Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank, Madhya Bihar Gramin Bank and Bihar Gramin Bank – were on strike, affecting transactions of over Rs 1,500 crore. He alleged that the Union government intended to privatize public sector bank by disinvesting their equity. This would lead to substandard service conditions for the bankers while increasing banking charges and complicating banking procedures for customers.
General secretary, State Bank of India Officers’ Association, Shivaji Singh said the Union government intended to allow free entry to foreign banks in the country, posing a threat to public sector banks. He claimed that peons of the Union government got better remuneration compared to banks’ clerical staff, who handled computers and crucial financial transactions.
Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries president P K Agrawal said bank transactions worth an estimated Rs 450 crore, over 40% of the average daily business transactions, were hit by the strike.
Speaking to TOI, regional director, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Manoj Kumar Verma said the government was still holding majority share in all the 26 nationalized banks of the country. Personnel Manager, RBI, Praveen Kumar said the data regarding the bank transactions affected by the strike was merely a notional data.