Money & Banking

Bank unions raise concerns over FM’s stimulus package

Mumbai | Updated on May 17, 2020 Published on May 17, 2020

The PSU bank merger is expected to impact the recruitment of clerks, in particular. File photo of a Canara Bank branch in Mumbai

Bankers and bank unions have expressed concerns about the economic stimulus package outlined by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and have called for more protection and improved conditions for bank employees who have been working during the lockdown.

Many bankers raised questions on Twitter on wage revision, pointing out that while bankers have been carrying out operations on a daily basis amid the national lockdown and novel coronavirus infection, their demands for wage hike have been pending.

“Banks have been the fulcrum of the economy, especially at this juncture when there is a pandemic and our service is not being recognised by the government,” said Soumya Datta, General Secretary, All-India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), adding that the merger of the public sector banks was done at a most “inopportune time” and could be demotivating to the morale of public sector bank employees.

The Finance Minister’s proposals to privatise public sector enterprises, as well as exclusion of coronavirus-related debt from the definition of default and no fresh initiation of insolvency for one year under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, also raised concerns.

“Privatisation is totally a wrong measure. Also, there should be more measures to ensure recovery of bad loans, especially when the non-performing assets of banks are near ₹10-lakh crore. This is half the size of the ₹20-lakh crore economic package,” noted CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All-India Bank Employees’ Association.

Wage negotiations

Venkatachalam said the All-India Bank Employees’ Association is not pursuing wage negotiations talks during the current pandemic.

Dutta of AIBOC noted that bankers are at a risk in Covid-19 and their services are not being recognised by the government as such. Bankers had also sought insurance cover for bank staff against Covid19.

Talks between the Indian Banks’ Association and the bank unions have remained inconclusive on wage revision in public sector banks.

Published on May 17, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.