Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, has said the voice of the Left can be a corrective force in various policies under the present scenario in which communal and corporate forces are trying to dictate terms. He was inaugurating the 27{+t}{+h}national conference of All India Bank Employees’ Association here on Saturday.

The Minister said the middle class was emerging as a force. Corporates were keen on starting new banks and foreign media were trying to attack the Indian government. There was an international conspiracy to defame the government. He said the banking system was intended for the benefit of common people. He said he was opposed to monopoly groups taking control of the economy. Cooperative banking was serving the interests of the people and unnecessary intervention by regulating bodies would harm them.

Gurudas Dasgupta, MP, General Secretary, All India Trade Union Congress, said the government was drifting away from the policies enunciated by Jawaharlal Nehru, which had focussed on self-reliance and empowerment of common people.

The government was opening up the Indian economy to foreign corporates and weakening the public sector. FDI in retail and amendment to banking laws were among the policies harming the economy. “The government’s talk about inclusive growth is a deception and social responsibility is a mockery. The effective rate of tax for corporate houses is 22.5 per cent. The government has failed to tackle price rise,” he said.

Kanam Rajendran, General Secretary, All India Trade Union Congress (Kerala), said the nationalised banking industry, ever since the advent of reforms in the country, was a constant victim of denigration. Private sector was being projected as the only panacea for all ills, he said.

The amendments in the banking law, coupled with new bank licensing policy were clear indicators that a dangerous shift in the policy was on the anvil. “The government, instead of entering into a dialogue with the working class, is busy placating and pleasing the corporates through various tax concessions,” he said.

V.R. Krishna Iyer, former judge of the Supreme Court, said the country belonged to the workers. The trade union movement should become a great power, he said.

Earlier, the employees took out a massive rally from Rajendra Maidan to the venue at Marine Drive grounds. A national seminar on banking as a fundamental right of people will be held on Sunday.

Unnecessary intervention by regulating bodies will harm cooperative banking, says Minister.