PSU Bank
PSU BankReuters

Officials and employees of IDBI Bank have protested against the government's plan to privatise the bank. A four-day strike starting March 28 could be the first of the roadblocks on Centre's privatisation and consolidation drive of public sector banks (PSBs), the Mint reported. 

The strike called by the United Platform of IDBI Bank Unions (UPIBU), an umbrella group of both employees and officer associations, follows two failed reconciliatory meetings with the labour commissioner, added the daily.

In its agitation programme, the UPIBU said it wishes "to observe a decent and silent protest programme in front of top 100 NPA (non performing asset) borrowers of IDBI Bank across the country to recover public money during the four days of strike period." 

On March 1, following the budget announcement, IDBI Bank also unveiled a three-year turnaround plan. It aimed to increase its turnover by twofold to Rs 10 trillion from the existing Rs five trillion by 2019. 

The other option available to the bank was to sell its non-core assets or raise fresh money through private placement to institutional investors. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), CDC Group Plc and many private equity investors have evinced interest in the same too. 

According to a Moody's report cited by the Mint, Indian banks will need an estimated Rs 1.45 trillion of equity fund infusion by March 31, 2019, to recapitalise weak banks under the globally agreed Basel III norms. IDBI Bank alone needs Rs 20,000 crore of equity infusion to comply with the Basel-III norms. 

The government planned fund infusion into PSBs to improve the banking sector's ability to deal with financial and economic stresses. The Basel-III norms stipulate banks to maintain a minimum capital adequacy of nine percent and a Tier-I capital ratio of seven percent.