CPI MP writes to Sitharaman over suicide of bank manager in Kerala

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New Delhi, Apr 12 (PTI) CPI MP Binoy Viswam has written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the recent death of a bank employee in Kerala, highlighting the “pressure” under which public sector banks are operating in the country.

K S Swapna (38), manager at Canara Bank, was found hanging inside the bank by her colleagues on April 9 at Koothuparamba in Kannur district.

A single mother of two teenagers, the employee allegedly took the extreme step due to work stress.

“The death has failed to touch upon your conscious and realise the inhuman mistakes that the government is pursuing with its unbridled privatisation of the economy. In the banking sector this has resulted in the Government failing to address existing structural problems within the public banks as they already plan to sell it.

“The apathy of the government to the current predicament of bank employees across the country who have tirelessly worked to build the foundations of our economy is appalling,” Viswam said in the letter.

He alleged that the suicide is another in a series of similar incidents from across the country where bank employees have taken their own lives owing to their working conditions.

“It is no secret that owing to the immense pressures on public banks, existing staff is facing inhuman conditions to achieve results that cannot be done with the existing human and financial resources. Multiple representations by the All-India Bank Officers Association have raised the issue of staff shortages across banks and the increase in workload without the required structural support needed to healthily achieve them,” the letter stated.

The CPI MP said the “looming fear of privatisation” creates additional work pressures for the employees.

He urged the finance minister to initiate an inquiry into the working conditions of bank employees and also engage in dialogue with representatives of the bank employees through their unions or associations in order to properly address their concerns.

“Finally I must ask you to ensure that the children of the deceased bank officer are looked after through proper mechanisms and the government extends every possible assistance to these young citizens who are facing these difficult times,” he added.