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Bank of Maharashtra, 3 other banks shortlisted for privatisation

Two of these banks will be selected for sale in the 2021/2022 financial year which begins in April, the officials said

Monday February 15, 2021 6:18 PM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Bank of Maharashtra

New Delhi: Despite strong protest from various circles, Narendra Modi government is adamant on privatisation, the latest being its plan to handover in private hands 04 banks - one of them being Bank of Maharashtra.

Quoting two unnamed officials, news agency Reuters said besides Bank of Maharashtra, the three other banks shortlisted for privatisation are Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and the Central Bank of India.

Two of these banks will be selected for sale in the 2021/2022 financial year which begins in April, the officials said. The shortlist has not previously been reported.

According to the report, the government consideres these banks as "mid-sized" and has shortlisted them for its first round of privatisation to test the waters.

Contrary to the claims made in the report, Bank of Maharashtra is a major public sector bank, having the largest network of branches of any public sector bank in the state. As of February 03, 2021, it has 15 million customers across the country with 1,874 branches.

PM Modi's office initially wanted four banks to be put up for sale in the coming fiscal year, but officials have advised caution fearing resistance from unions representing the employees, the report said.

The Narendra Modi government had earlier gone ahead with the merger of public sector banks. But, the decision had given way to a strong protest from the opposition parties and bank unions and bank employees.

While presenting the union budget 2021-22, Finance Minister Sitharamn had indicated that the government will sell stake in at least two public sector banks as part of its privatisation plan in the next financial year. She had however not named any bank.

Reacting sharply to this former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Sunday asked if the BJP government in Gujarat will privatise PSUs of the state.

"Here is a list of public sector undertakings in Gujarat…. When will Mr. Narendra Modi and the BJP government in Gujarat privatise them?” he asked.

"Will they privatise the Gujarat PSUs BEFORE two public sector banks and one public sector insurance company are privatised?" he said in a series of tweets, listing out 30 organisations.


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