Privatisation of banks: Govt will take care of employees, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman : 17-03-2021

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that the interest of the employees of the banks which are likely to be privatized will be protected.

FM said,”Interests of workers of banks which are likely to be privatized will absolutely be protected – whether their salaries or scale or pension, all will be taken care of.”

“Even for those banks which are likely to be privatized, the privatized institutions too will continue to function after privatization; the interests of the staff will be protected,” the FM further added.

“We have announced a Public Enterprise Policy where we have identified four areas where public sector presence will be there. In this, the financial sector is there too. Not all banks are going to be privatised. Interests of workers of banks which are likely to be privatised will absolutely be protected — whether their salaries or scale or pension, all will be taken care of,” said Sitharaman while addressing a press conference after attending a meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA).

“Even for those banks which are likely to be privatised, the privatised institutions too will continue to function after privatisation; the interests of the staff will be protected,” she added.

The Finance Minister made the statements during a media briefing on Union Cabinet approving a bill to set up a Development Finance Institution (DFI) to generate funds for investment in the infrastructure sector.

The statement assumes significance amid an ongoing two-day strike called by the bank unions to protest against the proposed privatization of banks by the union government.

Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday informed Parliament that the Reserve Bank of India is taking measures to strengthen its regulatory and supervisory capacity, and expressed hope that these steps will ensure no regulatory mishaps take place in the future.

“We have been engaging with the RBI to ensure that the regulatory functions and supervisory function of the RBI are strengthened. I am assured by the RBI Governor that internally an institutional mechanism is being further strengthened,” Sitharaman said during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.

Also,Nrmala Sitharaman, during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, said the government has now “only indicated” the RBI to allow other private banks to perform government-related business to ensure there is a level playing field.

“Now, following the existing norms based on which several banks have been given permission to do the business. So, those rules as per the RBI guidelines be applied on newer banks and new private banks which approach the RBI,” she said.

The RBI, being a regulator, has established norms and those norms will be applicable to the new banks, she added.

The minister was responding to a query about whether the government will adopt any criteria to permit new banks for taking up government-related business.

Source : Economic Times