Friday, July 29, 2016

Halt retrograde Banking Sector reforms

Bank employees held a massive demonstration Main protest organized in front of  Canara Bank
Ludhiana: 29th July 2016: (Punjab Screen Bureau):
• Do not increase private capital in Public Sector Banks

• Do not encourage FDI in banking Sector
• Do not give license to corporates to start Banks
• Do not give license to private hands to open Small Banks and Payment Banks
• Do not consolidate and merge Banks
• Extend more credit to agriculture sector
• Recover bad loans through stringent measures
• Increase interest rate on deposits in Banks
On the call given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), one million bank Workmen and Officers are observing country wide Strike TODAY agianst so called banking reforms by the Government. As per decision, United Forum of Bank Unions (Unit : Ludhiana) held a massive demonstration  in front of  Canara Bank, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana.  Com. Naresh Gaur, Convener, United Forum of Bank Unions, Com. Pawan Thakur, President, Punjab Bank Employees Federation (Ludhiana Unit), Com. Sanjay Sharma, Vice President, All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) and Dy. General Secretary, State Bank of India Officers Asociation, Ludhiana Zone, Com. J.P.Kalra, President State Bank of India Officers Association, Com. Iqbal Singh, Asstt. General Secretary, State Bank of India Staff Association, Com. D P Maur, General Secretary, Joint Council of Trade Unions  addressed the bank employees.  Com. Ashok Malhan, Com. Rajesh Verma, Vice Presidents, Pb. Bank Employees Federation and Com. Parveen Moudgil, Convener, Women Cell, Pb. Bank Employees Federation were also present.    

While addressing the bank employees, Com. Naresh Gaur said that all of us are aware about the various attempts of the Government to push through banking reform measures in one way or the other.  The basic idea is to dilute and dismantle public sector banking and boost up private sector banking. We have been consistently fighting against such machinations.  We have been able to build up intensive campaigns, agitations, struggles and strike actions against all these measures.  We can also legitimately feel proud that due to all these persistent efforts, the speed with which these reform measures were proposed to be implemented, could not be of such dimension as planned. But we know that the Government is on their heels to somehow get their agenda implemented.

The Government has also announced their proposals for
merger of PSBs.  Already RBI has announced its scheme for granting licenses to corporates and industrial houses. Further RBI has announced their Guidelines on setting up of Small Private Banks and Payment Banks.  Thus there is a concerted attempt to hand over our banking sector more and more to private hands. We are already aware of the Government’s continuous attempts to push through their reforms agenda aimed at privatisation of banks, consolidation and merger of Banks, etc.  More and more private capital and FDI are being encouraged.  Regional Rural Banks are sought to be privatised and the Bill has been passed by the Government in the Parliament despite protests by our Unions. Primary Agricultural Co-operative Societies (PACs) are under threat of winding up. Urban Co-operative Banks are under threat of delicensing. Private sector executives are imposed on the public sector banks.  All the Government schemes are being imposed on the Banks without proper infrastructure and manpower resulting harassment and problems faced by the bank staff.  Bank officers are being denied regulated working hours. Permanent and regular jobs are being outsourced on contract basis and contract employees are being exploited. Government would like to proceed on its agenda to amend the labour laws without any proper consultation with the trade unions. In the name of banking sector reforms, the attempt is to privatise the Banks and hand them over to the private corporates to enable them to further loot the precious savings of the people. Already our Banks are bleeding due to alarming increase in bad loans, thanks to the deliberate default by the corporates and big business enterprises. Instead of taking tough measures to book the culprits and recover the loans, efforts are taken to hand over the banks to very same defaulters. It is very clear that all their talks of banking reforms and proposals of merger and consolidation are only a ploy and game plan to divert the attention of the people from the massive bad loans in the Banks. Our country needs strong public sector banks and not necessarily big banks or global-sized banks. Our country needs banking expansion and not consolidation of banks and shrinkage of banking services to people. The focus should be the alarming increase in bad loans to the tune of about Rs. 13 lac crore. The efforts should be to recover the money by taking stringent measures and not hush it up through provisions, write-offs, CDRs and SDRs. 

If the loans have been sanctioned wrongly, action should be taken on the concerned Executives.  If the borrower has cheated the Banks, criminal action should be taken against the defaulter. Providing for the bad loans, clean-up of Balance Sheet and making the Banks to incur the losses is not the solution to the problem.  It is obvious, all these are only diversionary tactics to escape from the accountability for the huge bad loans.  Kingfisher Mallya is only the tip of the iceberg.  There are many more sharks in the ocean of bad loans in the Banks.  Why the list of defaulters is not being published by them?  Why criminal action is not taken on the willful corporate defaulters?  Why all velvet treatment to them?  Why the attempt to convert the bad loans as equity investment in these defaulter companies?  Is it the corporate governance and good governance policy of the Government?  In IDBI Bank, 10 years ago, about Rs.9000 crores of bad loans were taken out of their books.  Now another Rs. 19,000 crores is the bad loan.  Instead taking action to recover these bad loans, the Government wants to privatise and sell the Bank to the very same private sector which is responsible for these huge loan default in IDBI Bank.

No comments:

Post a Comment