RBI Employees Go on Strike, Seek Better Retirement Benefits

About 17,000 employees part of different unions will be on strike on Thursday. 

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About 17,000  Reserve Bank of India go on strike on Thursday. (Photo: Reuters)

For the first time in six years the 17,000-strong unionised employees of the Reserve Bank will go on one-day strike on Thursday opposing the various reform measures being taken at the Central bank and also seeking better retirement benefits.

The “one-day mass casual leave” is likely to cripple settlement activities at the banks. The unions are opposing the government move to take away the public debt management activities from the Central bank and curtail its powers on the monetary policy.

The unions are seeking better retirement benefits which has been pending with the government for the past eight years. They are also opposing the proposed creation of a monetary policy committee that would include members of the government, seeing it as a curb on the RBI’s decision-making powers.

The protest, the first at the Central bank in six years, has been called by the United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees. It is the umbrella organisation of four recognised unions of officers and workmen at the Central bank.

The cease-work programme is intended, inter alia, to strongly oppose the government’s current moves to cripple the RBI in the name of the draft financial code and legislative reforms
United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees Statement

While the Central bank is fearing disruption of settlement activities considering the protest, it has been learnt that RTGS facility will remain open. These unions together have around 17,000 members associated with it.

The Finance ministry is giving the final touches to shift government’s debt management functions from RBI to the proposed Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA), which will also henceforth function as depository of government securities (G-Secs). This takes away, from the RBI, some vital operations having relevance to money market as well, the Forum added.

The top management led by governor Raghuram Rajan has been in support of the new monetary policy framework as well as creation of the PDMA.

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