1. Unions’ threats may create hurdles for Narendra Modi-Government’s public sector bank reform push

Unions’ threats may create hurdles for Narendra Modi-Government’s public sector bank reform push

As the Narendra Modi Government prepares the ground for reforms in public sector banks, with a blue print prepared by a group of senior bankers...

Updated: January 4, 2015 10:43 AM
Narendra Modi, Narendra Modi news, public sector banks, RBI, Reserve Bank of India, Harvinder Singh, All India Bank Officers Confederation, rural banks

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing at the “Gyan Sangam”, a two-day retreat function of the chiefs of financial institutions, in Pune on Saturday. (PTI)

As the Narendra Modi Government prepares the ground for reforms in public sector banks, with a blue print prepared by a group of senior bankers, finance ministry and RBI officials and a few experts, staffers of these banks led by their unions have threatened to derail any such plan unless they are also consulted before the proposed restructuring process kicks off.

Even as the chiefs of over two dozen public sector banks, senior finance ministry officials, the RBI Governor and other senior regulators and experts brainstormed over the weekend at a retreat on the way forward, unions representing both officers and other staffers in these banks were sore at being ignored in the consultation process.

Harvinder Singh general secretary of the All India Bank Officers Confederation which claims to represent 2.80 lakh officers of public sector banks, rural banks, co-operative and private banks said that staffers should be consulted before any decision is taken. “We are the public faces of the bank and as such are the major stake holders of banks. In case they try to push reforms without discussing with us we will oppose them,” he said.

The scenario is reminiscent of what happened during the first term of the UPA Government, when there was an attempt at consolidation in the banking industry. In fact, a merger between two state banks was discussed and was almost close to being cleared before the government decided not to pursue it in the face of political resistance. This time too, a similar attempt could face hurdles, bank employees have indicated.

Already, bank employees have announced a series of strikes starting January 7 to highlight their issues with the government especially decent wages. Singh alleged that the government was trying to push for massive privatisation in the name of reforms while going soft on wilful defaulters.

By Parthasarathi Biswas 

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  1. B
    Bhaskar
    Jan 4, 2015 at 12:09 pm
    The outcome of the much hyped bankers retreat in Pune is well known to all stakeholders. Time to act and not waste time deliberating
    Reply
    1. C
      Chandrasekhar
      Jan 4, 2015 at 12:23 pm
      NaMo is not that easy to get countered by the strike threats. He is not new to obstructions. Handled many of them intelligently. He can blast any barriers. Even prevent blockages before the develop.
      Reply
      1. George Cv
        Jan 4, 2015 at 11:34 am
        They will end up selling all PSBs to US capital.
        Reply
        1. S
          sethu
          Jan 4, 2015 at 1:04 pm
          All experts are good theoreticians. Do not have updated knowledge of field conditions. They believe too much on data which are not reliable. This is main reason for the failure of many plans. Include also field staff.
          Reply
          1. N
            Narendra M
            Jan 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm
            (1) This news report is a pointer to developments ahead. It is well known that the left parties, who control employees’ bank unions in public sector banks (PSBs), are opposed to banking sector reforms of Modi government. (2) Employees and Officers of PSBs may have some genuine reasons to oppose the government’s move to merge smaller banks with big ones. There is an obvious need for those in authority to allay fears of all categories of PSB employees, and seek their cooperation. Thus, I believe, Employees’ Unions and Officers ociations, though opposed to mergers, may eventually accept them after some bargaining. (3) But as regards dilution of government stake in PSBs, employees’ unions’ opposition is essentially political and has to be dealt with accordingly. Let us see how the Modi government deals with the issue.
            Reply
            1. S
              shobhit
              Jan 5, 2015 at 3:20 am
              why should tax payer money be given to PSB?
              Reply
              1. S
                shobhit
                Jan 5, 2015 at 3:20 am
                why should tax payer money be given to PSB?
                Reply
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