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Public sector bank staff in India on two day strike

August 22, 2012‐ Mumbai

Employees of public sector banks in India have begun their two-day strike starting Wednesday. They are protesting against reform proposals that would allow more foreign and private capital into the sector. The Cabinet is most likely to take up the Banking Laws Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. As many as ten lakh employees will participate in the strike.

Despite the strike by the employees, the impact will be minimal on banking consumers as the private sector banks are functioning as usual. The ATMs will also function since they have been outsourced to private companies. However, the availability of cash inside the ATMs may be a problem. Trading volumes however will be less than minimal.

The number of branches of public sector banks in the country is over 87,000. There are 63,000 ATMs that belong to the public sector banks. 75% of the banking business is handled by state-run banks.

India is Asia’s third-largest economy. The Bill that the cabinet is seeking to pass would raise shareholders’ voting rights limit in private banks to 26% from 10%.

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