Employees from over 47 banks are planning to go on strike on 10-11 February to protest the proposed reforms in the banking sector and immediate revision in wage settlement
Around 10 lakh bank employees and officers working in 27 public sector banks including State Bank of India (SBI) and 12 old generation private sector banks and eight foreign banks will resort to two days nationwide strike on 10-11 February, says United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU).
UFBU, the umbrella organisation of five employee unions and four officer unions of state-run banks in the country, is demanding immediate wage revision settlement and protesting against the ongoing banking sector reforms.
UFBU had called for a strike on 20-21st January this year. At that time, the Indian Bank's Association (IBA) increased its offer to 9.5% from 5% with a promise to improve it further. However, during the discussions on 27th January, the IBA increased its offer by just 0.5% to 10%, which was rejected by UFBU representatives. The Union has been seeking an increase of 30% as their wage revision is pending since November 2012.
According to UFBU, the last wage settlement in the banking sector expired in October 2012 and hence a revised settlement was due from November 2012. However, since the last one year, the discussions have been very tardy and UFBU gave a call for strike. On 14 December 2013, the IBA called the Unions for talks and made their offer, which was found to be too low and hence was not acceptable to the Unions and hence UFBU decided to go ahead with the strike, the statement said.
Nine unions, AIBEA, All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation Of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation Of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation Of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation Of Bank Officers (NOBO) have given the call for strike under the UBFU umbrella.
Despite Diageo offering to divest bulk of Whyte & Mackay business to address anti-competition concerns posed by its deal with United Spirits, the UK OFT expressed concern about the impact of the deal
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in the UK has released a 53-page report detailing concerns posed by the Diageo-United Spirits deal to competition in the British whisky market.
On 25 November 2013, the OFT decided to have a fresh look at the $2 billion deal, after Diageo offered to divest bulk of Whyte & Mackay (W&M) business to address anti-competition concerns posed by this merger.
The regulator on Thursday made public the “full text” of its 25th November decision, wherein it said that “the OFT is concerned only by the impact of the transaction“.
“The focus of the competitive assessment is therefore on the incremental effect on competition of Diageo’s shareholding and the control this confers on Diageo.
“... A significant number of third parties raised the concern that the parties would restrict the supply and/or increase prices of private label blended Scotch whisky,” the 53-page order said.
The OFT had received comments from a wide range of customers and competitors of Diageo and W&M and their views have been incorporated appropriately in its decision.
The regulator said that it “found that the merger gives rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition” and subsequently the merged parties offered an undertaking “to divest the entirety of the W&M business apart from two malt distilleries and the associated brands of those two distilleries”.
Diageo manufactures and supplies spirits, wine and beer in the UK and around the world. It owns a number of spirits brands both worldwide and in the UK, including Smirnoff vodka, Bell’s and Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, Baileys liqueur, Tanqueray gin and Captain Morgan rum.
On the other hand, India-based United Spirits, part of Vijay Mallya-led UB Group, manufactures and supplies spirits in the UK and in other countries. All of its sales of products in the UK are made through its UK subsidiary W&M.
United Spirits had acquired W&M for about £595 million (then nearly Rs5,000 crore) in 2007.
In July 2013, Diageo completed acquisition of a 25.02% interest in United Spirits, while it has now raised its stake to close to 30 per cent.
While the deal has been cleared by various regulators, including Competition Commission of India (CCI), OFT ruled in November last that the merger may substantially lessen competition in the supply of blended whisky to retailers.
OFT came to this conclusion after analysing evidence including data on consumer switching between brands, economic modelling and internal documents.
“Our investigation considered a wide range of evidence and we concluded that the likely loss of competition could give rise to higher prices for retailers, and ultimately consumers,” OFT had said earlier.
UK Sinha, a 1976-batch IAS officer, had served as joint secretary in the Finance Ministry and joined SEBI after serving as the CMD of UTI AMC
UK Sinha, the chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Friday got a two-year extension till 2016.
The Finance Ministry has issued a notification to this effect. “The notification for SEBI Chairman’s extension has been sent to SEBI late last night,” a senior Finance Ministry official said.
The extension will be with effect from 18 February 2014 till 2016.
Sinha’s three predecessors — CB Bhave, M Damodaran and GN Bajpai — had a three-year term. Only DR Mehta had served as SEBI chairman for the longest duration from 1995 to 2002.
Sinha, a 1976-batch IAS officer, had served as Joint Secretary in the Finance Ministry and joined SEBI after serving as the Chairman and MD of UTI AMC.