Major banking transactions took a hit today as over 17,000 employees of RBI went on 'one-day mass casual leave' protesting against reform measures of the central government and seeking better retirement benefits.
Among the services that were affected were cheque clearances, payments and settlements and forex transactions.
The protest -- the first at the apex bank in six years -- was called by the United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees, the umbrella organisation of four recognised unions of officers and other employees at the central bank.
The unions are opposing the government's move to take away the public debt management from the Reserve Bank and curtail its powers on the monetary policy.
"The government by various mechanisms is taking away functions of RBI. They have proposed to form Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA). Monetary policy is RBI's jurisdiction and the government wants to be part of it, which will cripple RBI's power," United Forum's convenor Samir Ghosh said.
The unions are also demanding upgradation of pension of employees who retired earlier and want them to be at par with those retiring now.
Ghosh claimed that the one-day mass leave strike would affect important banking activity such as clearances of cheques, payment and settlement, movement of currencies and forex transactions.
However, RBI is making all efforts to keep the RTGS facility open.