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Nationwide bank strike on Thursday

Mumbai Around 700,000 employees and officers of the public sector, private sector and foreign banks will strike work all over India on Thursday, a bank official said in Mumbai on Monday.

Work in 27 public sector banks, 12 old generation private sector banks and eight foreign banks shall come to a standstill due to the strike, said Vishwas Utagi, secretary, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA).

"We are protesting the central government's move to push amendments to the proposed banking laws bill which is placed before parliament. We have already served a strike notice to the Indian Banks' Association," Utagi told mediapersons in Mumbai.

He said the banking community is opposed to the proposed amendments to the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, which are aimed at handing over Indian private sector banking to multi-national banks and increasing presence of Indian corporate and foreign direct investment in public sector banks.

According to Utagi, the proposed amendments would allow acquisition and merger of banks, infuse more foreign capital banks, unrestricted voting rights and granting licenses to corporate business houses to launch banks.

"There is an attempt to close down rural branches and resorting to large number of ultra-small branches, thereby privatising rural banking operations, lack of stringent measures to recover increasing non-performing assets and bad loans," Utagi said.

Demanding large-scale recruitment in the banking sector, Utagi said the banking employees are also protesting outsourcing of regular banking jobs, thereby jeopardising permanent jobs and job security.

As part of the day-long strike, bank employees shall take part in rallies and processions in all cities in the country. A massive rally is also scheduled at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai.
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