CBEU accuses govt. of weakening state banks to privatise them
Posted on December 24th, 2015

by Dasun Edirisinghe Courtesy Island

Bank employees yesterday alleged that the government was working according to a plan to privatise the state banks. General Secretary of the All Ceylon Bank Employees Union (ACBEU) Gamini Rathnasiri said 18 points in the budget were inimical to the banking sector but they had not been amended.

Rathnasiri said the government’s decision to withdraw accounts of government institutions from the state banks and remove pawning business from them posed a very serious threat to them.

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The state banks accounted for two thirds of the pawning business and they served the people living in remote areas which the private banks did not cater to.

State banks would go belly up soon due to the policies of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government, the trade unionist said, noting that its next step would be to privatise those institutions in keeping with a secret plan which could not be implemented earlier as part of the then UNP-led UNF government’s Regaining Sri Lanka programme (2001-2004).

Rathnasiri said that the trade unions had decided to mobilise the customers of state banks in their efforts to save those institutions.

We will launch a programme to inform customers of the ill-effects of the budget proposals on them,” he said, adding that they had already informed their decision to other bank trade unions, including Lanka Bank Employees Union as they were the major trade union of the banking sector.

Rathnasiri accused some trade unions in their alliance of having betrayed them by joining hands with the government during the Dec. 15 strike. However, he said the strikers had succeeded in paralysing the banking services on that day in spite of efforts by the government and its trade unions lackeys to sabotage the workers’ struggle.

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