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WB: State-Wide Protest Against Privatisation on 54th Anniversary of Bank Nationalisation

“Central government trying to alienate banks in the interests of capitalists without thinking about the common people”- AINBOF
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Kolkata: On 19th July 1969, banks were nationalised- not only for a handful of wealthy industrialists but for the betterment of the nation's economy. Its results were immediately obtained by improving the development rate of the country. “However, the present central government is trying to alienate banks in the interests of capitalists without thinking about the common people”, Sanjay Das, General Secretary of All India Nationalised Bank Officers Federation (AINBOF) said at a press conference in Kolkata on Tuesday.

On the 54th Bank Nationalisation Day, a meeting was held in front of the Jeevandeep Building in Kolkata on Tuesday. The meeting protested the merger and privatisation of state-owned banks. The leaders of the union mobilised against the conspiracy to loot the deposits of the common people of the country by handing over state-owned assets to various corporates. All India general secretary of the AINBOF Soumya Dutta, economist Prasenjit Bose and others addressed the meeting. Krishnendu Mukherjee presided over the meeting.

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In  Siliguri, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM) State Secretary Md Salim said that the purpose of bank nationalisation was to bring the common people under banking services. “Today the bank is only for Adani and Ambani. Banks are not hiring now. Common people's deposits are in danger. The condition of banks is deteriorating along with the country's economy. Attempts are being made to bankrupt the banks. Attempts are being made to transfer all state-owned assets to private ownership. We oppose it.”

Protests were observed against bank privatisation everywhere on the occasion of Bank Nationalisation Day across the state. The central government's role against state-owned banks was criticized through meetings, marches, and discussions. The slogans raised by the bank workers are ‘Bank Bachao, Desh Bachao’, (Save the Bank, Save the Country). In the evening, a large rally was held in front of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce at BBD Bagh, Kolkata.

In Tuesday's press conference, Sanjay Das said that bank nationalisation is for the overall development of the country and the welfare of all citizens. On the other hand, bank privatisation is not for common citizens or for improving the infrastructure of the banking system. Most of the people of the country are ordinary working people. Their hope, trust, and place of trust is in the government banks because after nationalisation not a single national bank faced any problem. On the other hand, 38 private banks have been closed since 1991 till date. He also said that this ‘privatisation’ policy of the government will bring India back to pre-1969 when the Mahajani system's main aim was to exploit the common working people and achieve their interests.

“The Indian economy has suffered a lot after the Corona pandemic. Moreover, this bank privatisation policy will accelerate the retrenchment process and delay the recruitment process. As a result, the current youth of the country will suffer a lot. Instead of appointing people to permanent posts, temporary workers are being hired to pave the way for repression, exploitation and low-paid work,” Das said.

On 17th July a campaign calling for a united front of the banking union got a huge response on Twitter. #PublicBanksNotForSale topped the trending list for almost 3 hours. The leaders of the organisation said that the level of agitation will be increased in the coming days as well. Leaders of other public sector organisations have also supported the bank's move.

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