The government had in August 2019 undertaken a massive consolidation exercise merging 10 PSBs into four, which brought down their total number to 12 from 27.
Previously, the government had decided to convert 6 banks privatize i.e. Punjab National Bank, Union Bank, Canara Bank, Indian Bank, Bank ok Baroda snd State Bank of India.
The two-day strike started at 6 am on 15 March and continues till midnight on 16 March. The nationwide strike has been called in the backdrop of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of privatization of two public sector banks after it divested the majority stake in IDBI Bank two years ago. The United Forum of Banks Union which is an umbrella body of nine bank unions has called the strike. The unions have said that the agitation against the government’s decision may take a form similar to the farmer’s protest going on since November 2020. The strike has impacted some important key services like cash withdrawals, deposits, cheque clearances, and remittances across public sector banks. More than 2 crore cheques/instruments worth about Rs.16, 500 crore could not be processed on the first day of the strike. The government’s policies are going to have an adverse effect on the economy and it might be reflected in the future course of action for policymaking and its reforms.
Conclusion on the basis of the Bank’s Strike, the government has decided to drop this plan and all these 6 banks are now out of Privatization Plan.
“PSBs that were part of the consolidation exercise have been kept out,” said a government official.