Four State-Run Banks Shortlisted For Privatisation|Report

In a recent development, Central Government has shortlisted four mid-sized state-run banks for privatisation, under a new push to sell state assets and shore up government revenues, three government sources said.

The four banks shortlisted are Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and the Central Bank of India, two officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity as the matter is not yet public.

Bank of India has a workforce of about 50,000 and Central Bank of India has 33,000 staff, while Indian Overseas Bank employs 26,000 and Bank of Maharashtra has about 13,000 employees, according to estimates from bank unions.

Today, bank workers started a two-day strike opposing the government’s move to privatise banks and sell stakes in insurance and other companies , which actual privatisation process may take 5-6 months to start.

Two of those 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.

The government is considering mid-sized to small banks for its first round of privatisation to test the waters. In the coming years it could also look at some of the country’s bigger banks, the NDTV reported.

The government, however, will continue to hold a majority stake in India’s largest lender State Bank of India, which is seen as a ‘strategic bank’ for implementing initiatives such as expanding rural credit.

A finance ministry spokesman declined to comment on the matter. India’s deepest economic contraction on record caused by the pandemic is driving the push for bolder reforms, economists say.

A finance ministry spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

India’s deepest economic contraction on record caused by the pandemic is driving the push for bolder reforms, economists say.

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