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Banking services hit in Northeast

Agartala/Guwahati : Banking services were badly affected in the northeastern region of the country Wednesday as most of the major banks remained closed in the wake of a nation-wide strike by employees.

The strike is to protest the proposed banking sector reforms and to demand revision of wages.

“Over 10,000 bank employees belonging to more than 2,000 nationalised and private bank branches in the seven northeastern states took part in the strike, opposing the proposed amendments to the banking laws,” said United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) spokesman Sushobhan Datta Majumder.

“The proposed restructuring in the banking sectors is expected to be undertaken aiming at mergers, acquisitions and outsourcing of routine activities of Indian banks and to allow foreign banks and investors in these activities and banking managements,” Majumder told reporters in Agartala.

However, most of the ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) of all banks were functioning normally.

The UFBU, the umbrella organisation of five employees unions and four officer associations of state-owned banks, has been observing the strike after its talks with the Indian Banks Association failed recently in New Delhi.

“The bank strike is not for the interest of the employees alone… the agitation is to protest anti-nation policies of the central government and to protect the Indian banks from foreign controls,” Majumder said on the sidelines of a sit-in demonstration by banks employees in Agartala.

The banking employees have also been protesting against the outsourcing of non-core activities by the authorities.

Government and foreign exchange transactions were also affected.