The public sector banks (PSBs) unions have postponed their proposed two-day strike which was to be held on September 26 and 27 to protest against the merger of 10 state-run lenders into four. Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar assured that he would look into the matter, following which the bank unions deferred the strike.
"Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar was positive in formation of a committee consisting of all concerned to address the issues arising out of the proposed merger of 10 banks including preserving the identity of all the banks. An appeal was made to us to revisit our strike call in view of the discussions," a joint statement said issued on Monday.
Now, as the Finance Secretary has taken cognisance into the matter and has promised to provide positive and workable solution, the 48 hours strike had been deferred, it said. As a result, normal banking activity would not be affected.
The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) had informed the State Bank of India (SBI) that the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) had given a call for a pan-India strike by bank employees on September 26 and 27, 2019.
On August 30, the central government announced a mega plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four as part of plans to create fewer and stronger global-sized lenders as the government looked to boost economic growth from a five-year low.
The four mergers were PNB (Punjab National Bank) with smaller peers Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India to create the nation's second- largest lender, Syndicate Bank merger with Canara Bank, Union Bank of India with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank, and Indian Bank with Allahabad Bank.
The move has brought down the number of state-run banks to 12 from 19 after the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda effective April 2019.
SBI had merged five of its associate banks - State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore and State Bank of Hyderabad and also Bhartiya Mahila effective April 2017.