The United Forum of Bank Unions has given a call for strike on August 23 and 24 seeking the withdrawal of the proposed banking law amendment Bill pending before Parliament. .

About 10 lakh employees, including officers in the public and private banking sector, will strike work on these days, the forum said.

The forum, consisting of nine bank employees’ associations, said the passage of the Bill would be harmful to the interests of the people as well as the employees.

A statement issued by the State unit of the forum said passage of the Bill would facilitate unfettered voting right to shareholders, closing down of loss-making bank branches in rural areas, implementation of unilateral directives on service conditions, and outsourcing of regular banking services. The employees are also demanding revision of pension scheme, compassionate appointment, and regulated working hours.

The statement said banks in India had nearly Rs.60 lakh crore as deposits. Hence banking institutions should be properly regulated. It was because of the defined regulations and the performance of the public sector banks that the banking system could overcome the global economic crisis, it said.

Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011, pending before Parliament, is likely to be taken up in the ensuing monsoon session. The Bill seeks to remove all restrictions on voting rights of foreign capital investors in banks, increase in voting rights of private investors in the equity capital of public sector banks, make bank merger easier and provide powers to supersede the boards of banks. These were all unwarranted measures, the forum said.

The government wanted to issue licences to corporate houses to start their own banks, the statement said. On the other hand, public sector banking was being weakened.

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