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’

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More Looking Ahead: 3-year - Our Bureau

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.

WAGES CODE

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.

BANK­ING BILL

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.

SBI MERGER

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

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