Mamata Banerjee Writes To PM Modi, Protests Against Bank Merger
Mamata Banerjee in Swarupnagar, West Bengal, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Mamata Banerjee Writes To PM Modi, Protests Against Bank Merger

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday protesting against the Centre's unilateral decision to merge two public sector banks headquartered in the city without consulting the state government.

Expressing concern, she said the merger and the threat of shifting of the banks' headquarters will affect the developmental momentum of the state.

Banerjee in her letter urged Modi not to go for the bank merger, which was announced on Aug. 30.

"I’m deeply concerned to learn that two public sector banks headquartered in Kolkata are being merged with banks headquartered in Delhi and Chennai respectively without any consultation with the state government or with the management of these two banks," Banerjee said in her letter to Modi.

Also read: Bank Mergers Are No Silver Bullet for India

The unilateral decision of merger of banks and threat of shifting headquarters from West Bengal will adversely affect the developmental momentum of the state, she added.

Banerjee, who is also the All India Trinamool Congress supremo and a strident critic of the Bharatiya Janata Party, in her letter expressed her concern over the future of thousands of employees of the two banks.

I strongly urge you not to merge Union Bank of India with Punjab National Bank and Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank and thereby also raise the spectre of moving the headquarters of these two leading banks out of Kolkata, she wrote in her letter to Modi.

Also read: PSU Bank Mergers: What Consolidation Means For Lakhs Of Employees

The BJP-led central government had on Aug. 30 announced four major mergers of public sector banks, bringing down their total number to 12 from 27 in 2017, a move aimed at making state-owned lenders global sized banks.

United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce will be merged with Punjab National Bank, making the proposed entity the second largest public sector bank.

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