State Bank of India
A man walks out of the State Bank of India main branch in Mumbai, India, March 9, 2016.Reuters file

About 10 lakh bank sector employees are expected to go on a nationwide strike on July 29, 2016. The strike has been planned to protest against the consolidating and merger of public sector banks, privatisation of banks and other reforms in the banking sector.

The proposal for the strike has been put forth by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella organisation consisting of nine bankers' unions, reports Business Standard. The strike, said CH Venkatachalam, the General Secretary of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), has been called since the government has proposed to go ahead with banking sector reforms.

These measures include providing inadequate capital to public sector banks, allowing more private capital in regional rural banks, privatisation of IDBI bank, and sanctioning of more licences to private corporate companies.

According to Venkatachalam, corporate business houses are mainly responsible for the total bad loans incurred in the banking sector, the figure for which has reportedly gone up to Rs. 10 lakh crore. No serious action has been taken to recover the money, said Venkatachalam, adding that the bad loans are being written off against profits in banks, so that they (the banks) can report losses, IANS reports.

The unions have also planned to demand action against wilful defaulters of bank loans. According to reports, there are 7,000 wilful defaulters who owe banks almost Rs. 60,000 crore.

The decision to go on strike was taken during a meeting of the UFBU held recently in Hyderabad.

[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]