Bank operations could be affected across the country today and tomorrow as over 10 lakh employees of public sector banks are going on a two-day strike from today. The strike, called by an umbrella body of bank unions over salary issues begins, comes on a day when the Budget session of parliament begins. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her second Union Budget on Saturday.
With the strike, banks would be closed for three days including Sunday, and will re-open only on Monday, February 3. Services at several bank branches and ATMs are likely to be down due to the nationwide strike.
Private banks such as ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank will remain operational. Many banks, including State Bank of India, have informed customers that operations may be impacted to some extent due to the strike. Cash deposit, withdrawal, cheque clearances, instrument issuance and loan disbursement operations could be affected.
The United Forum of Bank Unions, which represents nine trade unions, decided to go on ahead with the strike after a meeting with the Indian Bank Association remained inconclusive.
Unions are demanding 20 per cent hike on pay slip components with adequate loading. The wage revision for employees at public sector banks is pending since November 2017.
There are several demands, including the merger of special allowance with basic pay, updation of pension, improvement in the family pension system, five-day banking, allocation of staff welfare fund based on operating profits and exemption from income tax on retirement benefits without a ceiling.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)