Chandigarh, August 22
Normal banking operations across the region came to a standstill with around 60,000 bankers working in around 13,500 branches of public sector banks going on strike pressing various demands.The strike affected cheque clearances, National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and RTGs (Real Time Gross Settlement) transactions as well as deposits and withdrawals. However, bankers said that cash transactions at ATMs would not be disrupted as they had taken advance measures. Also, online banking transactions were not impacted.Operations at private sector banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were normal.
Bankers were protesting against the government’s proposed consolidation and privatisation move besides raising other issues confronting the banking sector. The other demands include no write-off policy for non-performing assets (NPAs) of corporate loans, declaring wilful default of loans as criminal offence, and implementation of recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPA.The strike has been called by unions under the aegis of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions, including All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).