The nationwide strike called upon by nine bank unions on Tuesday saw major participation of almost 10 lakh employees and officers of public sector banks across 10,300 branches in the country. The strike paralysed banking operations in the state. According to reports, most of the banks have already informed their customers that the functioning of their branches and offices would go firmly together if the strike takes off.
Public sector banks now control 75 percent of the total banking business.
Apart from these demands, the unions are upset with the government's decision to merge State Bank of India with its Associate banks.
The strike call was given by all unions under the aegis of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) opposing the anti-people banking reforms, writing off of corporate NPA and increase in different service charges.
The strike will primarily affect customers of public sector banks like SBI and IDBI.
With branches closed, automatic teller machines (ATMs) might get empty sooner than normal.
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Normally, in the three clearing grids in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, on an average, about 40 lakh cheques and instruments worth about ₹20,000 crore are transacted per day.
"Privatisation of banks would mean privatising the Rs 80 lakh crore of common people's money available in our banks.This is risky for the country and our people".
"We have received an overwhelming response from all our members for the strike call in support of our demands, including our opposition to the merger of state-run banks", state AIBOC General Secretary A.N.K. Murthy told IANS.
Other demands include no write off policy of NPA's of corporate loans, declaring wilful default of loans as criminal offence and implementation of recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPAs.
"As on date more than 70 per cent of bad debts of all banks are due to rampant and unethical lending to Corporates for which the nation is paying dearly", the statement added.