All India Bank Employees Association today flayed RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya’s remarks that it was time to re-privatise some nationalised banks and warned it would resort to a strike to oppose the move. At a recent function in Mumbai, Acharya had said the time has come to re-privatise some nationalised banks. “Perhaps re-privatising some of the nationalised banks is an idea whose time has come..this could reduce the overall money government needs to inject as bank capital”, he had said. AIBEA General Secretary, C H Venkatachalam said that the banks belong to people and represent the hard earned savings of the people and must remain so.
“It cannot be handed over to the profit greedy private sector. We demand withdrawal of these remarks by RBI Deputy Governor” and warned AIBEA would go on strike to oppose it. He said everyone, including Acharya, knew that the bulk of bad loans are due to big defaulters and that the private sector is the contributor of 97 per cent of bad loans.
Venkatachalam said public sector banks make operating profits despite all odds while the net loss was due to “provision of bad loans”.Reeling out statistics, he said that for the year ending March 31, 2016, public sector banks earned operating profits of Rs 1,37,306 crore. But total provisions for bad loans and contingencies were Rs 1,55,297 crore, with a net loss of Rs 17,991 crore”.
Requesting the central bank to stand with public sector banks, he alleged that all big loans were sanctioned with concurrence of the RBI and sought a probe. “(By privatising nationalised banks) RBI cannot escape from its responsibility now and advocate privatisation. Let there be proper accountability for the bad loans”, he said.
He said it was due to this reason that AIBEA has been demanding a “parliamentary probe” or by CBI to book those responsible for defaulting. “Let RBI publish names of these big loan defaulters. let them amend the RBI Act for this purpose. Let them declare wilful defaulters as criminal offenders to take criminal action”, he said. If there was any attempt by RBI to privatise public sector banks, he warned of instant resistance and strike to oppose it.