New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the interests of the employees of banks which are likely to be privatised will be protected. Sitharaman said that whether the salaries or scale or pension of the bank employees will be taken care of. 

Sitharaman's comment came on the second day of the nationwide strike against the proposed privatisation of the banking sector and 'retrograde banking reforms' by thousands of bank employees from across the country. Nirmala Sitharaman also said that not all banks are going to be privatised, however, wherever the privatisation is taking place, the privatized institutions too will continue to function after privatisation and the interests of the employees will be protected at any cost. 

"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.

Addressing a press briefing amid the 2-day strike by bank employees called by nine unions against the proposed privatisation, Sitharaman said that we want banks to meet the aspirations of the country. 

"Those banks which are likely to get privatised, the interest of every staff member will be protected. The interest of existing employees will be protected at all cost. Public sector enterprise policy very clearly says that we will continue with PSBs. Interests of the workers will absolutely be protected," Sitharaman said. 

This information comes around a time when several banks across the country called for a nationwide strike on March 15-16 against the privatisation of Public Sector Banks. 

United Forum of Bank Union, which is an umbrella body of nine bank unions, with over 10 lakh bank employees and officers had called a two-day nationwide strike on March 15 and 16 against 'retrograde banking reforms'. 

The strike came after Sitharaman's budget announcement where she announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (apart from IDBI Bank) as part of the government's disinvestment drive to generate Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan