New Delhi, July 28 | Employee unions of banking and insurance sectors, affiliated to the RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), on Tuesday staged protests across the country against the likely move of privatising state-run banking and insurance entities.
The Delhi Pradesh Bank Workers’ Organisation, which is also affiliated to BMS, in a statement said that the unions also protested against the dilution of labour laws.
Further, the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW), which was also part of the protests, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing the privatisation among other demands.
The other demands of the NOBW include pension upgradation of bank employees, merger of 7.75 per cent special allowance in basic pay and compassionate appointment to pre-2014 cases.
The bank workers’ body also said that bank employees should also be treated as ‘corona warriors’ and sought Rs 50 lakh insurance cover for them.
“Bank employees are economic warriors and contributing their services in all circumstances including ‘note bandi (demonetisation) and present Covid-19 to maintain essential services and helping government in giving the financial assistance to the needed persons like PMJDY accounts of women, different type of pensioners and requirement of Loan facilities for borrowers,” it said in its letter to the Prime Minister.
The resistance to privatisation comes as a new disinvestment policy is in the making and according to people in the know, would have the banking and insurance sector under its ambit.
Among the insurance companies, the Life Insurance Corporation of India will not be part of this disinvestment process. There are a total of eight state-run insurers, including six general insurance companies and one reinsurance company.
In the banking space, with the latest merger of public sector banks coming into effect in April, India currently has 12 public sector banks, down from 27 in 2017.
During the announcement of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ economic package in May, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the Centre will come up with a new Public Sector Enterprise Policy, and open up all the sectors to the private sector.