Bank employees are at a critical juncture today in terms of the workers’ movement. The existence of public sector banks, and thereby their existence, is dependent on this struggle. However, this struggle is also important to protect the crores of people of the country and their savings of more than Rs. 100 lakh crores. That is why, our only call is “अब कोई नारा न होगा, सिर्फ देश बचाना होगा”.
(English translation of circular in Marathi)
Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation
(Affiliated to AIBEA)
Date: 27 January 2022
To all affiliated units
Stay alert, stay active!
As you know, the budget session of the Lok Sabha is starting on 31 January. On 1 February, the Finance Minister will present the budget for the year 2022-23. The first phase of the session ends on 11 February. After this, in the second phase, the session will start on 14 March and end on April 8. In the meantime, assembly elections are being held in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, the largest state in the country. Given that this state has always played a decisive role in Indian politics, the eyes of all political parties are on this election.
The country is at the mouth of a volcano!
Considering the looming election, the pressure from the farmers, their dissatisfaction and their impact on Punjab and Uttar Pradesh elections, the government has repealed the three farm laws. With these elections in mind, the budget will be decided and voters will be misled. Only time will tell how voter will respond to the lies of the government. Further, unemployment is on the rise. Forget creating employment, people have also been deprived of their existing jobs. Poverty is rising. The gap between the rich and poor is growing rapidly. Oxfam, an international organisation, has recently reported the dangers of inequality. Although the government has repealed the farm laws, farmers are dissatisfied as their demand of minimum support price has not been fulfilled. Labour laws and monetisation, privatisation, unrestricted contractualisation and outsourcing have created increasing dissatisfaction among workers. GST tax, Amazon, Flipkart, Reliance, D-Mart, More, etc. have destroyed small and medium-scale traders. Small and medium manufacturers have also faced the same situation. As there is no demand for goods in the market, factories are going under, which is also affecting government’s tax collection. Therefore, existing jobs are shrinking. The purchasing power of common man is declining further. To boost the economy, the government will have to increase the taxes of the rich. Even if the fiscal deficit widens, the government will have to ensure the input of money through various means and implement welfare schemes for the poor. At the same time, they should ensure that there is no inflation. The serious crisis of the economy is leading to dissatisfaction and uprisings. The country is at the mouth of a volcano.
Make the strike on 28-29 March successful!
Against this backdrop, the government has decided to pursue the policy of privatising public sector banks by introducing the Banking Law Amendment Act 2021, which can be passed in the budget session. Given their majority in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, this is easily possible. There is contradictory news about this matter. The class whose interests are involved in privatisation will definitely force the government to pass the bill. Private interests have nothing to do with the country, banking, economy or the people. Their only aim is to make more and more profit. Given the seriousness of this situation, we must make the strike on 28 and 29 March successful. Through the strike, we must strongly oppose bank privatisation. We should ensure the participation of the entire labour movement and public in our struggle. If the government dares to introduce the Banking Law Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha, we should be ready to give our response in the streets.
Build a good resistance!
In the face of these challenges, we must plan actions while taking precautions against the third coronavirus wave. All affiliated organisations and district committees should organise online meetings with their members. Members should be informed of the seriousness of the situation and encouraged to make their best efforts in these trying times. They should contact their bank, customers, communities, societies, self-help groups, NGOs, people’s representatives, political parties and organisations and involve them in our fight against privatisation. All members of society, such as doctors, lawyers, teachers, traders, businessmen, farmers, workers, agricultural workers, whether organised or unorganised, should be involved in our campaign, which will enable us to build a good resistance.
“अब कोई नारा न होगा, सिर्फ देश बचाना होगा”
Bank employees are at a critical juncture today in terms of the workers’ movement. The existence of public sector banks, and thereby our existence, is dependent on this struggle. However, this struggle is also important to protect the crores of people of the country and their savings of more than Rs. 100 lakh crores. That is why, our only call is “अब कोई नारा न होगा, सिर्फ देश बचाना होगा” [Now there will be no slogan, the country will have to be saved]. We hope that all of us will respond well to this timely call. It is a humble appeal to strive for the success of this campaign wherever you are.
With best wishes!
Com. Nandkumar Chavan
Com. Devidas Tuljapurkar
Note: Strike dates changed to revised dates by the AIFAP editorial time.