‘Bank Privatisation Must be Stopped,’ Declares Bank Bachao Desh Bachao Manch
In the best interests of the nation's ordinary citizens, privatisation of state-owned banks must be avoided at all costs, the Bank Bachao Desh Bachao Manch said at a convention held at Kolkata's University Institute Hall.
In addition to opposing the government's proposal to privatise state-owned banks, Bank Bachao Desh Bachao Manch also calls for rehabilitating failing enterprises and further growth of state-owned industrial units.
At yesterday's public convention, the leaders declared that this forum will actively shape public opinion across the nation. “We demand that industrialists' interests not be served by undermining state-owned banks. All outstanding debts must be collected by the nation's government, and major loan defaulters must face the consequences,” the forum said.
Soumya Dutta, joint convenor of the Bank Bachao Desh Bachao Committee, told reporters that the group has united to oppose bank privatisation to stop the extinction of the middle-class and lower-middle class.
“The number of workers at banks has gradually decreased, and some of the retiring workers are being hired back on a temporary basis. But banks all over India have close to 2 lakh vacancies. Group D workers are not even present in banks. The contractual workers that are being employed perform sweeping, cleaning, and other duties. In order to maintain adequate customer service, this committee requests that the central government fill the empty positions as soon as possible,” Dutta said.
At the open convention, Soumya Dutta declared that "everyone's interests are tied with the banking business.” The forum’s call was heeded by several trade unions and other mass organisations. Additionally, there were associations for retired temporary employees from various industries.
“The central government is committed to giving away state-owned banks and state-owned enterprises to private hands. The nation's financial foundation will be destroyed by this. We want to change people's minds about it. Ordinary folks require deposit protection. A stable income is required. The Grameen Bank structure needs to be far more robust. To prevent private industrialists from acquiring state-owned banks, the fight must be stepped up,” Dutta stated.
The joint convener of Manch, Biswaranjan Roy, said, “State-owned banks are the place of trust for ordinary working people. These banks are responsible for protecting their deposits. From agriculture to mining to small-scale industries and education loans to the poor and talented - these are provided by state-owned banks on simple terms that cannot be expected from private banks. Implementation of various social security and government schemes is done through this state-owned bank.”
“These long-standing state-owned banks are the backbone of how much self-reliance India has achieved today. But the central government has a hostile attitude toward these banks. It will be opposed by the Bank Bachao Desh Bachao Manch across the country. This message should be spread to every corner of the country,” Roy added.
He also said that state-owned banks would be privatised regardless of their profits because this wealth is planned to be handed over to a handful of people; this is the desire of the country's government, he alleged. “Today, people are on the offensive against this dishonest way of thinking. We want common people across India to join this protest in the coming days. Our organisation will work for the safety of poor people,” Roy declared.
Dilip Saha, joint general secretary of the Sanchar Nigam Pensioners Welfare Association, said, "Our Prime Minister is saying that the country's economy is so strong because of PSUs. But those banks are being privatised and destroyed. The common people of the country are the most affected by this. The security of their hard-earned money is being disturbed. This situation needs to change."
The leaders and workers of various bank organisations, trade union organisations, mass organisations, temporary contract workers' unions, and retiree organisations were present at the mass convention. Bank Bachao Desh Bachao Manch Joint Convenor Soumya Dutta, Bishwa Ranjan Roy, Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) General Secretary Debashish Basu Chowdhury, All India Bank Officers Federation General Secretary Sanjay Das, DYFI leader Wajid Hossain, SFI leader Debanil Pal, Congress leader Ashutosh Chatterjee, and other organisations were also present.
The public convention was conducted by Subrata Dasgupta, Mrinal Roy Chowdhury, Vishwaranjan Roy, Nikhilesh Mitra, and Arun Roy.
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