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Sitaram Yechury warns govt on bank privatisation

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has cautioned the government against ignoring the views of the upper House of Parliament regarding privatisation of public sector banks.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitey said in his budget speech that the government would consider the option of bringing down its stake in the IDBI Bank below 50 per cent. The government at present holds 80 per cent stake in the IDBI Bank.

The Finance Bill, which contains the budget proposals, will not need Rajya Sabha’s approval to sail through.

“It (bank privatisation) has to be discussed in the Rajya Sabha. If the government decides to ignore the final analysis of the Rajya Sabha, they will have a pay a heavy price”, Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the CPI(M), told The Hindu.

“Technically, the Lok Sabha alone is required to pass the Bill. But, if they try to bulldoze the things due to the Lok Sabha majority, then they have to pay a political price, which is Rajya Sabha’s opposition to other legislative business”, he said.

The BJP-led NDA government has an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha but does not have the majority in the Rajya Sabha. As a result, key Bills such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) are yet to get lawmakers’ approval.

Mr. Yechury indicated that bank unions would start a nationwide protest against the government’s move.

“The bank unions are meeting right now. They will take an appropriate action”, he said.
with Agencies

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