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Bank Nationalization in India

After independence the Government of India (GOI) adopted planned economic development for the country (India). Accordingly, five year plans came into existence since 1951. This economic planning basically aimed at social ownership of the means of production. However, commercial banks were in the private sector those days. In 1950-51 there were 430 commercial banks. The Government of India had some social objectives of planning. These commercial banks failed helping the government in attaining these objectives. Thus, the government decided to nationalize 14 major commercial banks on 19th July, 1969. All commercial banks with a deposit base over Rs.50 crores were nationalized. It was considered that banks were controlled by business houses and thus failed in catering to the credit needs of poor sections such as cottage industry, village industry, farmers, craft men, etc. The second dose of nationalisation came in April 1980 when banks were nationalized.

Objectives Behind Nationalisation of Banks in India

The nationalisation of commercial banks took place with an aim to achieve following major objectives.

Social Welfare : It was the need of the hour to direct the funds for the needy and required sectors of the indian economy. Sector such as agriculture, small and village industries were in need of funds for their expansion and further economic development.

Controlling Private Monopolies : Prior to nationalisation many banks were controlled by private business houses and corporate families. It was necessary to check these monopolies in order to ensure a smooth supply of credit to socially desirable sections.

Expansion of Banking : In a large country like India the numbers of banks existing those days were certainly inadequate. It was necessary to spread banking across the country. It could be done through expanding banking network (by opening new bank branches) in the un-banked areas.

Reducing Regional Imbalance : In a country like India where we have a urban-rural divide; it was necessary for banks to go in the rural areas where the banking facilities were not available. In order to reduce this regional imbalance nationalisation was justified:

Priority Sector Lending : In India, the agriculture sector and its allied activities were the largest contributor to the national income. Thus these were labeled as the priority sectors. But unfortunately they were deprived of their due share in the credit. Nationalisation was urgently needed for catering funds to them.

Developing Banking Habits : In India more than 70% population used to stay in rural areas. It was necessary to develop the banking habit among such a large population.

Banks Nationalization Chronology

1955 – State Bank of India nationalized

1959 – 7 subsidiaries nationalized and associated with SBI

1. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
2. State Bank of Hyderabad
3. State Bank of Indore
4. State Bank of Mysore
5. State Bank of Patiala
6. State Bank of Saurashtra
7. State Bank of Travancore

1969 – 14 major commercial Banks nationalized on 19th July 1969

1. Allahabad Bank
2. Bank of Baroda
3. Bank of India
4. Bank of Maharashtra
5. Canara Bank
6. Central Bank of India
7. Dena Bank
8. Indian Bank
9. Indian Overseas Bank
10. Punjab National Bank
11. Syndicate Bank
12. UCO Bank
13. Union Bank of India
14. United Bank of India

1980 – 6 more commercial Banks nationalized

1. Andhra Bank
2. Corporation Bank
3. New Bank of India
4. Oriental Bank of Commerce
5. Punjab & Sindh Bank
6. Vijaya Bank



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