Kochi: RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty on Sunday urged Bank unions to work together with managements to come out with an integrated system to make banking services available to everyone.

"The time has come that Bank unions should work with managements to come out with an integrated service to make banking services available to everyone," he said.

27th National conference of bank unions

He was speaking at a seminar on 'Banking as fundamental right of people', organised as part of the 27th National conference of All India Bank Employees Association here.

"We need strong and responsible trade unions in the banking system so that trade union and managements can fight market forces and help in making services available to all. Banking services should be available at everyone's doorsteps," he said.

Pointing out that the trade union movement had played an important role in making service of bank employees respectable in the sector, he said, "We want a strong trade union movement in the banking system as it is a pre-condition for a strong management in the bank."

Banking is not a service provided by state. It has to be provided on commercial lines. There is need to bring down transaction costs, to make it affordable.

"We need to collectively work to bring down transaction cost so that banking service will be affordable," he said, adding there was also need to provide fair, transparent and reliable service.

If banking is to be made a fundamental right, this rule would be applicable not only to public sector banks, but to every other banks including private and cooperative, he said.

Opening of bank accounts is a fundamental right in the US, UK and European countries.

"In India, opening a bank account cannot be refused. But it still does not happen. Even after 40 years of nationalisation of banks, we are saying banking should be a fundamental right.

"Banking industry is the only industry where workmen have representation in the board. But still why has banking not gone to everybody? Why it has not gone to everyone? We are collectively responsible for this situation," he added.

"We took 20 years to introduce banking technology. Today banking technology is available. Without technology, you cannot take service to everyone. If you have to take product and services to the masses, you should have technology," Chakrabarty said.

He pointed out that bank credits are available to those who are creditworthy. It is the responsibility of bank employees to educate and make them financially inclusive to those who do not come under this bracket, he said, adding RBI was pursuing the policy of financial intrusion and financial literacy.

P Sainath, Rural Affairs Editor, The Hindu and Prof Victor Louis Anthuwan, Economist, also spoke at the event.

CPI stresses on recent economic changes

Earlier, Gurudas Dasgupta, CPI MP and general secretary, AITUC, elaborated on the recent economic changes across the world and new economic policies adopted by the UPA government.

Corporate houses were 'sabotaging' the economic policies adopted earlier in tune with national developments and formation of a socialist society, he said and stressed the need for the unity of the working class and masses to protect the interest of the common man.

Nationwide strike on February 20

The nationwide strike called by all trade Unions jointly on February 20 and 21 will pressurise the Government to change its 'anti-people and 'anti-labour' economic policies, he said.

The delegate session was addressed by foreign representatives from various countries, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Uzbhekisthan, Republic of Congo.


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