The United Forum of Bank Unions has decided to observe July 19, the 48th anniversary of nationalisation of major banks, as 'Save public sector banks' day.
Bank workers on a dharna in Delhi on 28 February 2017 (file photo)
All members will wear a commemorative badge on the day, display posters in front of all branches, distribute leaflets and hold rallies/demonstrations.
Announcing the program, CH Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) said that Public Sector Banks are being blamed for the crimes of private corporate defaulters. He called upon the people to defend and save the public sector banks from liquidation and privatization. "They are nation building institutions and must remain so. Social banking has to be strengthened and expanded."
According to the AIBEA, the main challenge that the Public Sector Banks face is the massive increase in the proportion of bad loans, euphemistically known as non-performing assets. They have reached a dangerous level threatening many banks with liquidation.
"Everyone knows that the main share of this danger is contributed by the corporate defaulters who are taking our banks for a ride," Venkatachalam said. Bank Unions have pointed out that the government has not taken any action to recover these bad loans. On the other hand, all types of concessions are being doled out to the defaulting corporates. These range from interest waivers, one-time settlements, compromises, corporate debt restructuring, strategic debt restructuring, and write-offs.
While the corporate defaulters are being assisted in various ways, the masses of users of banking services are being made to pay by hiking all types of service charges, fees and penalties.
Bank workers are demanding the government take stringent measures to recover the bad loans of the big corporate defaulters and take stringent action against them. They are also calling upon the broad masses of people to oppose the privatization and liquidation of the Public Sector Banks.