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Bankers stage dharna in Nagaland; banks shut, services affected

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Mar 15, 2021 8:53 pm
Bankers Dharna carried out at Supermarket complex near SBI Regional Business Office, Dimapur today.

Our Reporter/ Correspondent
Dimapur/Kohima, March 15 (EMN):
The two-day nationwide bank strike called by United Forum of Banks Union (UFBU) to protest the Centre government’s move to privatise state-owned lenders, affected banking services in Nagaland on Monday.

The UFBU Nagaland unit took part in the protest by organising dharnas in Dimapur, Kohima and Mokokchung.

The UFBU, which is an umbrella body of nine bank unions, started the agitation on February 19 this year to oppose privatisation of bank, retrograde the banking reforms and strengthen public sector banks, and it will culminate with a two-day strike on March 15 and the 16th.

In Kohima, all banking services including deposits, cash withdrawals at Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and various branches were affected by the strike. Unaware of the protest, many customers had turned up to avail bank services only to find the shutters down.

: SBI, main branch in Kohima seen closed on Monday. (EM images)

Dharna was held in Nagaland’s commercial hub, Dimapur, on the first day of the strike from from 9:30 am till around 12:00 pm at Supermarket complex near SBI regional Business Office. All the banks in the city remained shut, thus affecting banking services.

State Secretary of All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) Nagaland Unit and President of State Bank of India Officers’ Association (SBIOA) North Eastern Circle, TAP Paul informed Eastern Mirror the demonstration on Monday was successful with more than 100 people and all public as well as private sector banks remaining closed.

He shared that privatisation of public sector banks is something that the central government should not consider. If the bank is given to private hands, people will suffer in future because they will not be able to open accounts with minimum balance, the facility that public sector banks offer now.

Under Jan Dhan Yojna account, public sector banks are allowing the farmers, students and weaker section of the society to avail banking services with zero balance and such banks open branches in remote areas where private banks may not do, Paul said, adding that private sector banks’ main intention is to make profit while the public sector bank is for the “well-being” of the public.

‘Now, if the central government is planning for privatisation of bank; once privatized, no private bank will opening of accounts with zero balance. Out of 40.48K crore bank accounts with zero balance under Jan Dan Yojna, 97% of them are opened by the public sector bank, whereas only 3% are being done by private sector bank,’ the official informed.

‘Considering all these, employees of public sector banks along with some of the private sector banks that are also in the union, participated in the agitation,’ he said.

While informing that bankers will continue the strike on Tuesday as well, he apologised to the customers for the inconvenience caused. Meanwhile, he assured that the protest is for the common interest of the public.

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Mar 15, 2021 8:53:51 pm