Raising their protest against the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, 2017, bank employees' unions have launched a nationwide signature campaign to highlight the adversities in the Indian banking sector.

Expressing concerns over the safety for people's money deposited in Banks, the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) demanded withdrawal of the FRDI Bill, 2017, which they claim, is trying to remove the safety for the bank deposits.

AIBEA plans to collect 1 crore signatures from across India by end of March 25 and submit a mass petition to the Parliament and Lok Sabha Speaker.

"We will start the awareness campaign from Republic Day on January 26 in Gujarat and will collect 10 lakh signatures from the people of Gujarat. Our aim is to join banking consumers with us so that they also know what government is planning to do with their money," said Bharat Rawal, general secretary of Mahagujarat Bank Employees Association.

"Today total deposits with the banks is around Rs 110 lakh crore. We need to protect this precious money of the common people of the country. Today, the Central government is bringing the FRDI Bill, which is trying to remove the safety for the deposits in the banks. Total deposits in the banks should be fully protected and guaranteed," said C H Venkatachalam, general secretary, AIBEA seeking withdrawal of FRDI Bill.

FRDI is not required in India because the Indian banking system is different from that of in the USA and other countries. In India, we have deposit-oriented banking, whereas in other countries, it is investment-oriented banks. Hence Banking rules of USA should not be made applicable to India, he mentioned.

Pointing out gaps in the Act, he stated that because of huge savings of people in the Banks, Banking Regulations Act has provision for guarantee of deposits and no bank can be liquidated. RBI will merge the Banks if they fail.

"AIBEA fought and achieved this amendment to BR Act in 1960. After that, no bank has been closed down. So FRDI Bill is not required. Government should remove the panic from the mind of the common people," he said.

Raising objections to the Banking reforms, Venkatachalam further added that in the name of banking reforms, the government is trying to privatise the banks and trying to merge and consolidate banks, which poses a risk of a collapse. "We know how private banks in the West have collapsed. We can't afford such risk in India. By way of merger a number of branches will be closed and services to the people will be reduced at a time when we need expansion of banks to reach more people," he added.