Banks across India will be shut for the next four days owing to holidays and a bank strike called against the proposed privatisation of two state-owned banks. 

While March 13 is a second Saturday and March 14 is a Sunday, the bank strike has been proposed for March 15 and 16.

While the bank branches will remain closed for customers, they will be able to avail online services and use the ATM. However, services like cheque clearances, opening new accounts, issue of demand drafts and loan processing are likely to be impacted over the next four days.

According to reports, State Bank of India (SBI), in a regulatory filing on March 10, said they have been advised by the Indian Banks Association (IBA) that the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has given a call for an all-India strike by bank employees on 15th and 16th March, 2021.

Nearly 10 lakh employees of public sector and old generation private banks will be going on strike.

Why are banks protesting?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2021, had announced that public sector banks are part of the Centre’s disinvestment plans. The Centre plans to privatise two PSU banks and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22 to generate Rs 1.75 lakh crore. 

In protest against this decision, the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions, has called for a nationwide strike on March 15 and 16. However, new age private banks like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank are expected to function normally.

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