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Bank unions call strike on Friday against Nayak report

Giving a strike call on May 23 against recommendations of the P J Nayak Committee on corporate governance in public sector banks, various bank employees’ associations said today they would oppose any attempt to privatise state-run banks.

Last week, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) working committee headed by former Axis Bank chairman P J Nayak had suggested the government to cut its holding in public sector banks to below 50 per cent.

“Five national organisations representing 10 lakh bank employees and officers will oppose the Nayak Committee recommendations which are aimed at destroying the character of public sector banking,” Maharashtra State Bank Employees’ Federation general secretary Vishwas Utagi said in a statement.

The five bank associations, namely All India Bank Employees’ Association, All India Bank Officers’ Association, Bank Employees’ Federation of India, Indian National Bank Employees’ Federation and Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress plan to hold protest demonstrations across the country on May 23.

Other Nayak panel recommendations include merger of public sector banks, transferring ownership of public sector banks to a “bank investment company”, repeal of the Bank Nationalisation Act and SBI Act, as well as bringing banks under the Companies Act, besides increasing voting rights of shareholders in public sector banks to 26 per cent from 10 per cent.

“The committee wants removal of government’s control to hand over the banks to private hands. They want to go back to the pre-1969 model of private sector banking,” Utagi said.

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