Normal banking operations have been hit as public sector bank employees went on a one-day nationwide strike on Tuesday to protest against the government's proposed consolidation move, besides raising other demands.
Services like deposits and withdrawal at bank branches, cheque clearance, NEFT and RTGS transactions are affected.
However, operations at private lenders such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were almost normal.
The Indian Banks' Association (IBA) had already informed customers that functioning of branches and offices may take a hit if the strike takes off. It had also asked banks to take measures in advance to minimise the impact.
Meanwhile, IANS reported that in Tamil Nadu alone around 55,000 bankers struck work pressing for their demands.
"It is a dawn-to-dusk strike as cheque clearing operations start at 6 a.m. Bankers working in around 10,300 branches struck work protesting the policies towards the sector," CH Venkatachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association, was quoted as saying in the report.
Venkatachalam said around 12 lakh financial instruments valued around Rs 7,300 crore would not be cleared.
With branches closed, automatic teller machines (ATMs) might get empty sooner than normal. Government treasury transactions would also be impacted.
Foreign exchange transactions, import and export bill transactions, sanction of loans and others would also be affected.
In most of the places, clearing operations, particularly outward clearing was seriously affected.
Normally in the three clearing grids functioning from South, West and North -- Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi -- on an average about 40 lakh cheques and instruments worth about Rs 20,000 crore are transacted per day. This was affected in a big way, Venkatachalam said.
The strike has been called by all unions under the aegis of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).
The UFBU is an umbrella body of nine unions, including the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW).
Besides, protest against consolidation move of the government, other demands include no write-off policy for non-performing assets (NPAs) of corporate loans, declaring wilful default of loans as criminal offence and implementation of recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on recovery of NPAs, NOBW vice president Ashwini Rana said.
The government should provide overtime for additional work during demonetisation, he said.
The UFBU, which claims membership of nearly 10 lakh across banks, requested the government for cost reimbursement of demonetisation to banks.
As many as 21 public sector banks control 75 percent of the total banking business.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)
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Updated Date: Aug 22, 2017 14:32:47 IST