Nine bank unions are observing a two-day strike opposing the government's policy to privatise lenders
Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the interest of all employees of state-owned banks which are likely to be privatised will be protected.
"We will still have the presence of public sector enterprises...not all of them are going to be privatised," she replied to a query in the press conference.
Even for those who are likely to be privatised, Sitharaman said the government will ensure that "these privatised institutions will also continue to function. After the privatisation, we will also have to ensure that the staff or the personnel who are there, their every interest will be protected."
In her Budget Speech on February 1, Sitharaman had announced that the government proposes to take up the privatisation of two PSBs (Public Sector banks) and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22.
This would require legislative amendments and she had proposed to introduce the amendments in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament itself.
Nine bank unions are observing a two-day strike opposing the government's policy to privatise lenders. Tuesday was the last day of their strike.
At the press conference, the minister referred to the amalgamation of PSBs and said the country needs many more lenders of the size of the SBI (State Bank of India).
She further said the government wants financial institutions to get more liquidity and more people to put money into them to make the entities sustainable.
“The government wants the staff of these financial institutions to be able to perform their duties, in which they have acquired skill over the decades, and run the banks”, the minister added.
The government has merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years.
The four strategic sectors in which the government will continue to have its presence, though bare minimum, are -- atomic energy, space and defence; transport and telecommunications; power, petroleum, coal and other minerals; and banking, insurance, and financial services.