Imphal: Banking services in Manipur were hit for the second consecutive day on Friday as employees of various public sector banks have gone on strike, joining the nationwide protest against the Central government’s move to privatize public sector banks.
Employees of the public sector banks in the state joined the two-day nationwide strike initiated by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).
Joining the strike, employees of various public sector banks staged a protest in front of SBI Imphal branch at MG Avenue under the aegis of UFBU Manipur State Committee today.
At the protest site, various banners with slogans like “To protect nationalized banks is real patriotism. It is our patriotic duty to preserve national pride.”
Participating in the protest, convener of UFBU Manipur state, Loitongbam Maipak Meeitei said that the employees were protesting after the Central government failed to give an assurance that the bill related to the privatization will not be introduced in the ongoing Parliament session.
He said that after learning that the Central government is planning to introduce the bill related to the privatization of the banks, leaders of the UFBU held a talk with the government on December 15 last.
However, the Central government refused to give an assurance that the bill will not be introduced in the ongoing Parliament session, he said.
He alleged the privatization of the public sector banks was unwarranted, unjustified and a regressive step.
Once the public sector banks are privatized, various benefits obtained by the different sections of people, particularly farmers and students, will be adversely affected, he said.
“We are not happy with the government’s plans to divest stake in public sector banks” he said.
He alleged that instead of strengthening the public sector banks, the Central government is trying to privatize them only to weaken further.
He further alleged that the privatization move would starve the public sector banks of the required capital, human resources, through disinvestment and proposed privatization.
The privatization of the nationalized banks amounts to selling the banks to the corporates, he alleged.