Money & Banking

Kerala’s ‘financial independence’ movement set to go national

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 25, 2018 Published on July 25, 2018

MIFI to uphold the country’s financial and political independence

Various stakeholders in politics, services, NGOs, youth and student organisers, along with public figures in Kerala, have joined hands to launch what has been christened the Movement for India’s Financial Independence (MIFI).

Since its launch in May 3, MIFI has been holding a string of public engagements and strategising sessions in the State Capital; it is now fanning out to other parts of the State before escalating it as a national-level campaign.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched the national-level campaign of MIFI at a function here last week. According to him, the crisis in the banking sector is the creation of the Centre, and is part of a massive conspiracy.

The Centre was unwilling to reveal details of the corporates responsible for creating 84 per cent of NPAs amounting to ₹10 lakh crore, even as it is chasing defaulters of small loans.

Recently it waived off NPAs amounting to ₹2.41 lakh crore without revealing who the beneficiaries are.

They are at best wilful defaulters, and could cheat the banks again even while managing to remain in the shadows.

The crisis would eventually destabilise public sector banks, lead to their privatisation, and provide an opportunity for Indian and foreign corporates to wrest absolute control over the financial sector as well as the polity, said Vijayan.

MM Hassan, President, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee, who also spoke, suspected that there was an attempt to reverse the gains of the achievements of bank nationalisation.

Meanwhile, KN Harilal, Member, Kerala Planning Board, and a leading light of MIFI, says corporates were forcing political parties to include bank privatisation in their election manifesto in 2019.

MIFI wants to uphold the country’s financial and political independence. Banking and insurance sectors had survived the global recession, mainly due to their strength and the confidence reposed in them by the public.

Praveen Jha of Jawaharlal Nehru University says MIFI should challenge finance capital that has emerged as a powerful factor without any link to production.

The root of the crisis could be traced to the rise of financial capital, which is speculative.

Meanwhile, MIFI organised a ‘mahasatyagraha’ here on July 19, the 50th anniversary day of bank nationalisation.

Faith of people

Today, Indian banking is surviving only because of the faith of the people in the public sector financial system, notes Jose K Abraham, President, All-India Nabard Employees Association.

Privatisation is not a solution to the present crisis. The only solution is protection of the public sector financial institutions. The Centre must protect them and it should declare this intent unequivocally.

On their part, political parties must declare in their manifesto for the 2019 elections that they will protect the public sector financial institutions.

Strict control must be brought to bear on speculative capital.

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Published on July 25, 2018
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