All India Bank Employees Association invited Dr. Prof. K. Nageshwar, Ex-MLC, Hyderabad, in their ongoing National Seminar series to share his views on the seminar theme of People’s Money for People’s Welfare. Prof. Nageshwar, the two times MLC and a professor at Osmania University while addressing the seminar raised the existence of deep-rooted political agenda in the banking system.
In the session, the speaker pinpointed the negligible participation of private banks in the welfare schemes and service to the backward section. On the contrary, the speaker elaborated on the major contribution of public sector banks towards society and their active involvement in the government schemes.
Breaking the myths of the inefficiency of public sector banks in comparison to private sector banks Dr. Prof. K. Nageshwar clarified, “a public sector bank deals with Jan Dhan accounts, No-frill accounts and undertakes the social objectives of the Government, due to which their profits stand affected. Hence, there should not be a comparison between the public sector banks and the private sector banks. There is no level playing field.”
The speech took a deep- dive into the ground reasons and stated the fine points that take a toll on the health of public sector banks.
“Even though all the public sector banks are earning Operating Profits, but due to the provisions for the Non-Performing Assets, bad loans, they incur net losses. When corporate loans are buried under the carpet, it is called written-off, and when the agricultural loans are written-off, it is branded as a loan waiver. It is not the loan waivers to the poor borrowers and agriculturists that cause the losses of the banks but only due to the write-off of corporate loans” added Prof. Nageshwar. When a loan is not repaid and when the borrower defaults repayment of the loan, it is a bad loan as all of us know. But one cannot understand, how this bad loan can be called an asset of the Bank,” he wondered!
The session further highlighted the nexus between the top management of the banks, with the politicians on the one side, and the big corporates on the other. While concluding the session, the speaker suggested that the Domestic savings kept as deposits be utilized to equip the vibrant public sector to improve the economy of the country.
Further, the speaker insisted on creating more awareness among the public around the dire need to save public sector banks from the political influence and privatisation in order to safeguard People’s money for People’s welfare.
All India Bank Employees Association, the oldest and largest national Trade Union centre of bank employees in India, was founded in 1946. Through the efforts made by AIBEA bank unions were recognised by the managements and in each bank, many policy issues on recruitment, transfers, and promotions were regulated by mutual agreements. AIBEA has achieved 11 industry-level bipartite settlements so far which govern the wages and service conditions of bank employees. Along with the struggle for improvements in wages and service conditions, AIBEA also campaigned for nationalisation of Banks.
After years of continuous efforts and struggle, AIBEA achieved its objective when major 14 banks were nationalised in July, 1969. Subsequently, in 1980 another set of 6 Banks were nationalised. AIBEA has always been governed by its twin policies – concern for the progress of the banking industry and concern for the betterment of the interests of banking staff. Even today AIBEA is guided by these principles. AIBEA has decided to unleash a national campaign to mobilise the support of the people in its efforts to oppose privatisation of the Banks.