Not a single employee will be removed: Nirmala Sitharaman
FM was speaking on bank unions' concerns about loss of jobs due to merger
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday allayed fears of job losses following the proposed merger of public sector banks, saying not even one employee shall be removed following the amalgamation. "Absolutely, ill informed. I want to assure every union in every one of these banks to please recall what I have said last Friday. When we spoke about amalgamation of banks I have very clearly underlined the fact that there shall not be one employee removed. Not at all", she told reporters here.
She was replying to a question on the bank employees unions opposing the merger plan on the ground it would lead to loss of jobs. Sitharaman on Friday unveiled a mega plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four as part of plans to create fewer and stronger global-sized lenders as the government looked to boost economic growth from a five-year low.
Sitharaman, who was here to address officers of Customs, Goods and Service Tax and I-T department, said there would not be any closure of banks and no bank was being asked to do something new. "More capital is being given to banks and they will continue to do more of what they were doing earlier," she said.
The All India Bank Employees' Union had alleged Indian Bank may face closure following its merger with Allahabad Bank. To a question on this, Sitharaman said Indian Bank would be the anchor bank after the merger. She said when a bank receives capital, it is for them to function more of what they were expected to do as core business, which was to attract business and lend.
"Second, another bank in this region is Indian Overseas Bank which continues without any amalgamation added to it. It is also something you should keep in mind", she said. To a query about the automobile industry seeking a GST rate cut, she said it should be decided by the GST Council.
Asked what was her message to people who had lost their jobs and those fearing job losses, Sitharaman said, "I can only say we are responding to the industry requirements. Across the board there is no one particular answer that I can give, saying this is the magic wand. Sectorally, what they want, we are responding," she said.
Meanwhile, a government data released on Sunday showed that India's gross GST collections slipped below Rs 1 lakh crore to R98,202 crore in August. Gross revenue collections from the GST Tax in July stood at Rs 1.02 lakh crore. This is the second time during this year that the revenue collection from the GST has slipped below the mark of Rs 1 lakh crore.
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