Bhopal: Banking operations across Madhya Pradesh remained paralysed on the first day of the two-day nationwide strike called by employees of public sector banks (PSBs) who are opposing reforms in the sector and outsourcing of non-core activities.
    
Over 50,000 employees stayed away from work at nearly 5,500 branches of PSBs affecting cash transactions, cheque clearances and foreign exchange dealings among other services in the state, banking sources said.
    
People have to rely on ATMs for withdrawal of cash. The strike has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella organisation of nine unions of employees and officers of PSBs.
    
The unions are demanding better pension scheme, ban on outsourcing, appointment on compassionate grounds and ban on merger and closure of regional rural banks among other things.
    
Bank employees in large numbers took part in a protest in Maharana Pratap Nagar area here. Banking services were also affected in Indore, the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh. There was no work in 338 branches of 54 PSBs in Indore district as nearly 6,000 employees stayed away from offices, union sources said.
    
Cheque clearance worth Rs 400 crore was affected in Indore alone, they said. Bank employees carrying banners and flags took out a rally from Seetlamata Bazar to Yashwant Road in Indore shouting slogans against the Centre and demanding a rollback of reforms and outsourcing.

(Agencies)

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