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Government declares banking industry as public utility service till October 21

The banking industry has been declared as a public utility service for six months till October 21

Apr 25, 2020 16:12 IST
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The Union Government has declared the banking industry as a public utility service for six months till October 21 under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act.

The move means that the banking sector would not see any strikes by employees or officers during the operation of the act starting from April 21.

The Department of Financial Services announced that Labour and Employment Ministry has declared the banking industry as a public utility service for six months till October 21. The labour ministry issued the notification on April 17, 2020 amid the lockdown imposed due to coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown has significantly impacted economic activities.

Key Highlights

The banking industry has been declared as a public utility service for six months till October 21.

Bringing banking services under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act means that the employees and officers of the unionised banking sector would not be able to go on strike besides certain other activities. The law has been brought into effect from April 21, 2020.

There are more than a dozen employees and officers unions in the banking sector. 

The banking unions enjoy a considerable say in the wage negotiations, which the Indian Banks' Association has to deal with in every three years. 

All public sector banks and old generation private sector banks are a part of the Indian Banks' Association such as ICCI, HDFC, Axis Bank and Federal Bank. 

Some of the old generation foreign banks HSBC, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank are also a part of it. 

All of these banks come under wage settlements and other employee issues that are taken up by IBA.

The new generation private sector banks such as IndusInd, Yes Bank and Kotak Bank are outside the purview of IBA norms.

Purpose

The main purpose behind declaring the banking industry as a public utility is to ensure protection to the customers and to serve them in a better way, amid the economic crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

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