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Fact Check: Is the Centre Privatising All State-Owned Banks Except SBI?


Nirmala Sitharaman had said in her budget speech of 2021-22 that two public sector banks would be privatized. Ever since her announcement, the issue has been widely debated!

Meanwhile, some netizens have claimed that all public sector banks, except the State Bank of India, will be privatised. One such Facebook post shows a screenshot of a Zee News Hindi headline that claims the same.
India Today’s Anti-Fake News War Room(AFWA) found that the claims are misleading. The center has not announced any such thing as of yet.

A report by The Times of India from July 12 states that a policy paper of the Indian Policy Forum recommended privatization of all nationalised banks. It further stated that due to its better performance, SBI may remain under government control.


Source: Times of India

The policy paper was written jointly by Poonam Gupta, a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister; and Arvind Panagariya, former NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman and Columbia University professor.

However, there are no media reports that prove it was center’s recommendation. AFWA also probed what Zee News reported, as many shared its headline. Zee News reported on July 13 that the Centre will privatize two nationalised banks in 2022. It also mentioned the recommendations of Gupta and Panagariya.


Source: Zee News

According to an August 2 report in the Hindu Business Line, the government told Rajya Sabha that the privatization of public sector banks will have to wait and a bill has not been listed for the current session.

Minister of State for Finance, Bhagwat K Karad said in a written reply: “As per list of business for monsoon session no such bill has been listed for introduction, consideration and passing.”

The viral post claiming that the center would be privatizing all state-owned banks except SBI, is misleading. Zee News didn’t exactly claim the same but its headline and introduction pointing to rapid privatisation by the centre, is misleading.

References: India Today

Featured Image Source: BoomLive

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