Bank services remain hit due to strike against privatisation of PSBs in Kashmir

Srinagar: Banking services remained crippled for the second successive day on Tuesday even as customers are facing inconveniences in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir valley following a two-day nationwide strike called by employees unions against the privatisation of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and retrograde banking reforms.

Meanwhile, with banks remaining closed since Saturday, customers alleged that many ATMs in the valley have dried up as the cash was not refilled for the fourth successive day on Tuesday.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, decided to go on a two-day national wide strike from Monday to protest against the proposed privatization of two state-owned lenders.

However, branches of private-sector lenders like J&K Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank are open as they are not part of the strike.

Branches of all the centralized banks, including the State Bank of India (SBI), remained closed for the second successive day on Tuesday, causing inconvenience to the customers, who were caught unaware of the strike. Despite banks, including SBI, claiming that the customers were informed about the strike, people in the valley alleged that no prior information about the strike was communicated to them.

“Today is the fourth successive day that banks are closed… on March 13 the banks were closed in view of holiday on second Saturday of the week. Sunday was a weekend holiday. Yesterday and today the banks are closed due to the strike,” Irfan Saleem, a resident of Srinagar, told UNI.

How can banks expected the business to run without their services for four days, he asked.

Similar views were expressed by other customers in the valley. But, customers can use internet banking services to make transactions.

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