Kerala House passes resolution against merger of SBT with SBI

The Kerala assembly today passed a resolution against the merger of State Bank of Travancore with State Bank of India, stating it would adversely affect the state's economic growth.

In a resolution, introduced by chief minister Pinarai Vijayan, the state government has asked the centre and the Reserve Bank of India to rescind the decision to merge the Kerala-based State Bank of Travancore (SBT) with State Bank of India (SBI).

The resolution got the backing of both the ruling and opposition parties with the exception of lone BJP member of the assembly O Rajagopal.

unianimous backing , introduced by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, asked the Centre and Reserve Bank of India to rescind the decision

Rajagopal, opposed the resolution saying the state government has political motives.

The Congress and left parties were opposing the merger because of their hatred towards the BJP-led government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.

''This is part of anti-Modi (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) sentiments and I am opposing the resolution,'' he said.

Speaking during the two-hour debate, finance minister T M Thomas Issac termed the BJP MLA's attitude "narrow minded".

Rajagopal's stand is against the state's interest, he said.

Moving the resolution, Vijayan said SBT was formed way back in 1946 and was the succour of the Kerala government as a huge majority of its transactions was done through the bank.

''The move to merge SBT with SBI will be a telling blow to the interests of the state and we will approach both the Reserve Bank of India and the Centre to desist from going ahead with the proposed merger,'' he said.

The majority union of SBT has already expressed deep concern over SBI's move to acquire its five associate banks, including SBT.

The resolution said SBT was the biggest bank in the state with 846 branches and Rs8,000 crore deposit. It said the Kerala government's major transactions were also with the bank.

SBT's agriculture development loan has played a key role in the economic growth of the state, the resolution pointed out.