The agitators staged a protest in front of the Central Bank of India on Thursday.

Bank employees in Vijayawada participated in the one-day strike against the amendments to be brought in the Banking Regulation Act, Banking laws (Acquisitions and Transfer of Undertakings Act 1970/800), Competition Act, and SARFESI Act.

The bank employees affiliated to All India Bank Employees’ Association, All India Bank Officers’ Association and Bank Employees’ Federation of India staged a protest in front of Central Bank of India in Vijayawada on Thursday.

In response to a one-day strike call given by the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), the bank employees participated in the strike.

On the occasion, the speakers said that the government was proposing to increase the ceiling on voting rights, both in public sector banks and private sector banks. The amendment would make the merger of banks easier, and also allow the banks to convert the bad loans into the equity of borrower company. The amendments would also allow the banks to do forward contracts and come out of the purview of the Competitions Act as far as merger was concerned, they said.

The proposed amendments were retrograde steps, and would badly hit the banking sector. The amendment to the banking laws would dilute the interest of public sector banks, they said.

Ever since the government initiated the neo-liberal economic reforms policies, there have been repeated attempts to liberalise and privatise banking sector.

The bank employees have been consistently fighting against these policies and have conducted agitations and strike actions on various occasions in the past. Any measures of baking reforms taken by the government were not in the interest of the country and economy, they said.

K.S. Rao of AIBEA, M. Venkateswarlu of AIBOA and Ajay Kumar of BEFI and others spoke.

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