Money & Banking

‘RBI’s autonomy, independence at stake’

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 12, 2019 Published on January 11, 2019

An estimated 20 crore organised and unorganised workers participated in the 48-hour trade union strike on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to two RBI employee unions.

Bank employees were an integral part of the strike and demanded the revival of banks and initiation of people-oriented banking policies, said the All India Reserve Bank Employees Association and the All India Reserve Bank Workers’ Federation in a joint circular.

Public money is being looted through banks, said Samir Ghosh and Arun Samaddar, General Secretary and President of the unions, in the letter addressed to members.

Up to ₹15 lakh crore has been plundered, conveniently classified as ‘distressed assets’, and will not come back. Public sector banks, the ‘national champions’, are sick beyond redemption.

Those responsible for looting the money have left the country, and instead of recovering people’s money from them, the government is busy merging banks and closing down branches.

Posts are being abolished and serving bank employees are being assigned back-breaking work. This explains the unprecedented resistance from bank employees and their participation in the two-day strike.

“We have had our own issues, too,” the circular said, with reference to work environment in the RBI. Both unions have participated in five such national strikes. “RBI’s autonomy, independence, functions, and jurisdictions are all at stake. It is a vanishing institution, and now has one-third of its earlier staff strength. Jobs are increasingly being outsourced.”

Contractualisation of jobs is in the offing, and there is rampant discrimination against lower-rung staff. “Our demand is: Save RBI, restore it to its pre-eminence. RBI must not shrink, RBI must not die.”

Both the government and the RBI have gone back on their promises with respect to superannuation issues. They are taking the apex bank staff for a ride, the circular charged.

Published on January 11, 2019
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