Lok Sabha Okays SBI Merger Bill; RS Nod to Bill on NPAs
Code on Wages Bill also tabled in LS to empower Centre to fix a ‘universal minimum wage’
New Delhi: The Lok Sabha cleared a Bill approving the merger of associate banks with the State Bank of India and the Rajya Sabha approved a legislation to give more powers to the central bank to deal with bad loans on Thursday, the penultimate day of the monsoon session of Parliament. The government also introduced the Code on Wages Bill in the Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to empower the Centre to fix a “universal minimum wage” and the government says more than 40 crore unorganised sector workers would benefit from it.
Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya introduced the Code on Wages Bill to consolidate and amend the laws related to wages and bonuses.
The proposed law will help generate employment and attract entrepreneurs, he said.
The minister said there were 44 labour laws that were being clubbed into four codes. The Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday deals with the code on wages.
The Bill seeks to amalgamate four laws: The Payment of Wages Act 1936, Minimum Wages Act 1948, Payment of Bonus Act 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act 1976.
The aim is to make the rules simple and rational and in no way the proposed changes infringe on workers’ rights, the minister said.
The Rajya Sabha gave its assent to the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to give more powers to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to deal with bad loans. The Bill, which was cleared last week by the Lok Sabha, replaces an ordinance promulgated in May to allow the RBI to quickly start the resolution process.
After the promulgation of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, the RBI identified12 companies, which account for a quarter of the total non-performing assets at banks, for immediate referral for resolution under the bankruptcy law.
The Lok Sabha passed the Bill to repeal the SBI (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959, and the State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956, and to further amend the State Bank of India Act, 1955.
This was required to merge the five associates with the State Bank of India.
Minister of state for finance Santosh Gangwar said that with this merger, SBI has joined the top 50 banks globally, with the 45th position on the list. Gangwar said no bank branches would be closed down as part of the merger. Rather, wherever required, the bank would open branches, he added. “The merger has been planned keeping in mind the benefit of people and going forward, its benefits will be seen,” he said. Following the merger, the total customer base of SBI has increased to 37 crore. It operates around 24,000 brands and nearly 59,000 ATMs.
The merged entity began operations with a deposit base of more than ₹ 26 lakh crore and advances of ₹ 18.50 lakh crore.
Rajya Sabha gave its assent to Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017, to give more power to RBI to deal with bad loans