A two-day strike called by the employees of state-owned banks in India has paralyzed banking operations in many parts of the country. Twenty one state-owned banks, which have about 85,000 branches across India, account for 70% of the total banking business in the country.

On the first day, clearance of 3.9 million instruments worth 217 billion rupees may have been affected, claimed CH Venkatachalam, the general secretary of the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA). The impact was expected to be similar on Thursday, the second day of the strike, reported Business Standard.

On Thursday salary withdrawals from these bank branches were likely to be impacted due to the month-end strike. Other banking services like deposits, FD renewals, government treasury operations and money market operations were hit by the strike.

Industry chamber Assocham said the two-day nationwide bank strike may affect customer transactions worth up to 200 billion rupees.

Nine bank employees’ organizations under the banner of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) declared a 48-hour strike starting on May 30, seeking government intervention on wage settlement and other issues.

However, operations at new-generation private banks such as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank were running almost as normal.