India's Central Bank Staff Plan Strike on Nov. 19, PTI Says

  • Some 17,000 staff to go on "mass leave" to protest govt moves
  • Strike could affect settlement of banking transactions

About 17,000 Indian central bank employees are planning to strike next week to protest what they call the government’s attempts to intervene in monetary policy, the Press Trust of India reported, citing an union official.

The Reserve Bank of India employees will go on a "mass leave" on Nov. 19, Samir Ghosh, general secretary of the All India Reserve Bank Employees Association, told PTI. The strike is likely to disrupt the banking system’s settlement activity on that day, PTI reported.

The protest intends to "strongly oppose" the government’s moves to "cripple the RBI" through a proposed rate-setting system -- which includes government representatives -- and a new financial code, the United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees said in a statement cited by PTI. The group represents the RBI’s four recognized unions.

The RBI is undergoing its biggest overhaul in history with plans to finalize a structure for a rate-setting committee similar to the Federal Reserve Board or Bank of England and to also formalize the government’s decision to separate debt and monetary management. RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has said that the central bank agrees with the government’s intent to create a separate debt management office.

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