Bank unions call strike on February 7

Kolkata: Demanding solution to the demonetisation problems and recovery of bad loans, bank employees’ and officers’ unions on Friday called for an all-India strike on February 7.

In a joint statement, the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) said ever since the central government announced the demonetisation scheme on November 8, 2016, the entire banking sector plunged in turmoil.

“But even now we find that there is acute shortage of cash supply to the banks with the result that bank branches are not able to honour even the restricted payments… Most of the ATMs are still non-functional and even where they are functioning, there is no cash to dispense,” the unions said.

The unions also alleged that there was no transparency in supply of cash to banks.

“While most of our banks are still suffering from short supply of cash, one cannot understand how few private banks get uninterrupted cash supply!” said BEFI’s General Secretary Pradip Biswas.

It was reported that when branches were starved of cash supply, huge new currency notes were found with some big people.

“But there is no answer as to how such huge cash has gone out of the banks,” said AIBEA’s General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam.

The unions also alleged that when the ordinary and common people are made to face such problems “in the name of curbing black money”, the big defaulters of bank loans are getting “scot-free”.

“No action is being taken against the increasing menace of huge bad loans in the banks except provisions from profits, write-offs and desperate sale of NPAs (non-performing assets),” said AIBOA General Secretary S. Nagarajan.