Bank Privatisation Row: FM Nirmala Sitharaman Addresses Concerns, Assures Interests Of Staff Will Be Protected


New Delhi: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has clarified that not all banks will be privatized and wherever it happens, the interest of the employees will be protected.

Addressing a press conference, the finance minister talked about concerns regarding privatisation of banks by saying: “The decision of Privatization is a well thought out decision. We want banks to get more equity … We want banks to meet the aspirations of the country “.

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The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions, had called for a two-day nationwide strike beginning Monday to protest against the proposed privatisation of two state-owned lenders.

Around 10 lakh bank employees and officers were expected to participate in the strike due to which services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, check clearance and loan approvals were set to be affected.

Since banking operations have been affected for four days straight, there were concerns over difficulties in withdrawing money from ATMs and bank branches.

As for the government’s disinvestment plan, the drive aims to generate Rs 1.75 lakh crore. The deadline for the overall disinvestment project is set for completion of the Financial Year of 2022.

Talking about the same, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured that, “Even for those banks which are likely to be privatized, the privatized institutions too will continue to function after the move and the interests of the staff will be protected”.

“Interests of workers of banks which are likely to be privatized will absolutely be protected – whether their salaries or scale or pension, all will be taken care of,”: she added.

The Union Finance Minister is also informed that a public enterprise policy has been announced where 4 areas have been identified for the presence of the public sector to continue. “In this, financial sector is also there. Not all banks are going to be privatized,”: she said.

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