The government today said the merger of five associate banks with the SBI would help in enhancing profitability and loan giving capability of the country's largest lender. While replying to debate on a bill related to the merger process, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told the Rajya Sabha that not a single employee has been retrenched after the merger. The Rajya Sabha passed the bill to repeal the SBI (Subsidiary Banks) Act 1959, State Bank of Hyderabad Act 1956 and to further amend the State Bank of India Act 1955. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill in August last year. Five associates and Bharatiya Mahila Bank were merged with the SBI on April 1, 2017. The five associates were State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Travancore (SBT). According to the minister, the merger of five associate banks would help in enhancing profitability and loan giving capability of the SBI. It would also enable the lender to offer better services to its customers. On opposition charge that demonetisation was done in a hasty manner, Shukla said the move helped in bringing out Rs 1 lakh crore from the private lockers back into circulation. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre withdrew a bill to amend the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.