Chennai, Dec 17: The ongoing two-day nationwide bank strike against the privatisation of government banks has affected clearing of cheques worth about Rs 37,000 crore, said C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary of the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA).
"There are three cheque clearing centres in India -- Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. In two days - Thursday and Friday - about 38 lakh cheques worth about Rs 37,000 crore were held up," Venkatachalam said.
Giving a grid wise break up, Venkatachalam said in about 10 lakh cheques worth about Rs 10,600 crore in Chennai, about 18 lakh cheques worth about Rs 15,400 crore in Mumbai and some 11 lakh cheques worth Rs 11,000 crore in Delhi were not cleared.
He said, in addition to public sector bank staff, employees and officers of old generation private banks like Federal Bank, Karnataka Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, CSB Bank, South Indian Bank, Dhanlaxmi Bank, Ratnakar Bank, J&K Bank and also Kotak Mahindra Bank were also on strike.
Employees of foreign banks like Citi Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sonali Bank, Bank of America and others though very small in number are also on strike.
A section of employees and officers of Regional Rural Banks are also on strike, he added.
About one lakh bank branches remain closed and some others headed by senior officials were kept open as they did not participate in the strike.
However, there were no transactions in those branches as other staff were on strike. Venkatachalam said cheques drawn and between private banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank are getting cleared as they are not on strike.
The strike was called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of several bank unions.
Venkatachalam said the strike is against the Centre's move to privatise public sector banks (PSB) and to introduce the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the current session of Parliament.
The passage of the Bill will enable the government to reduce their equity capital in the PSBs to less than 51 per cent and allow private hands to take over them.