Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI: The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) has proposed to launch a national campaign during February against banking sector reforms and to express its opposition to the mergers and consolidation of public sector banks and closure of associate banks.

During the national campaign, the AIBEA would also demand strengthening and expanding public sector banks; takeover of all private banks; stringent action to recover bad loans and pro-people banking policies.

A press release from AIBEA general secretary C.H. Venkatachalam issued here said bank privatisation would enable the corporate business houses to capture the hard-earned savings of the people and use them for their profit making and speculative purposes. The government should reject all recommendations of various committees suggesting dilution of government’s capital in the public sector bank to less than 51 per cent. Stating that the merger of banks would make them big monopoly institutions and help only the corporate business, he said the move would result in closure of branches threatening the job security of the employees.

The government, he claimed, wanted to amend the Banking Regulations Act and delete Section 12 (2) to remove the present ceiling and provide full voting rights to foreign investors. Allowing full voting rights to foreign investors in banks would endanger people’s money in the banks which would be vulnerable to take over by foreign investors. The government’s decision to take Rs.10,000 crore as loan from the World Bank to add capital for the banks would increase the influence of private capital in the public sector banks. The government wanted to speed up the banking sector reforms which would have an adverse impact on the banking system. The Association has demanded immediate stoppage of these banking reform measures. If the government does not change its policies, the agitation would be intensified, he warned.