The Bank of Maharashtra Employee unions writes to the finance minister seeking clarification on privatization. Two employee unions of state-run Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) have written a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stating that they need clarification on the government’s stand on the privatization of the Pune-based lender.
In recent days there were media reports that the government wants to expedite the privatization of four state-run banks including Bank of Maharashtra and UCO Bank. The unions expressed in the letter, written by All India Bank of Maharashtra Employees Federation (AIBOMEF) and Bank of Maharashtra Officers Association (BOMOA), that the said media report created uncertainties in the minds of bank employees and clients.
There are forthcoming reports of customers withdrawing deposits from some of the branches of the bank, the unions said. These media stores are especially troubling in the context of recent unfortunate developments in the financial sector, the unions wrote in the letter citing instances such as the moratorium on Yes Bank, the expulsion of ICICI ‘s former MD.
Bank of Maharashtra, a subcommittee of the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) in the state, has a network of approximately 1,832 branches spread across 28 states and six Union Territories, 1,044 of which are located in rural and semi-urban areas.
The Employee Unions said that the lender has 1,125 branches in the State alone, of which 462 are in rural areas. It has a presence in state backward areas like Marathwada, Vidarbha, and Konkan. They also said that the bank has also funded Maharashtra Gramin Bank, which operates in the backward areas of Marathwada with a branch network of around 412 branches of which 335 branches are in. The bank had become the state’s lifeline, they said.
The employee union asks the government to explain the stance of the government on this and to give assurance to the bank’s clients to put an end to uncertainty in the depositors’ minds and to arrest disturbances in the bank’s sector. Though AIBOMEF is affiliated with All India Bank Employees Association, BOMOA is affiliated with the Association of All India Bank Officers.