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AIBEA requests Jaitley to convene tripartite meeting over measures to be taken in banking sector

2/28/2018

Agencies, Hyderabad All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) on Wednesday suggested Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to convene a a tripartite meeting of the Finance Ministry, Indian Banks Association/Bank managements and Apex Bank Unions (UFBU) immediately under your personal guidance so that concrete and concerted measures are taken in the banking sector. We request your immediate attention for necessary advice to the Banks not to indulge in mass transfers of officers and employees, AIBEA General Secretary Ch.Venkatachalam said in a letter to Mr Jaitley. He said we had sent our communication on 21-2-2018 on the ongoings in the banking sector on account of the NIMOnia fraud in Punjab National Bank. We believe that the issues raised by us are receiving your attention for necessary action. Already the entire banking sector stands exposed as to its credibility and reputation of being trustees of public money. The huge PNB fraud caused on account of the wanton corrupt activities of billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi in collusion with some bank officials at different levels and compounded by gross negligence in supervision at multiple levels of management, RBI not excluding. The role of auditors also cannot go unquestioned, he said. Unfortunately, public sector Banks and the entire workforce are being painted with an uncharitable black brush and we feel that restoring the faith and confidence of the common public in general and banking clientele in particular is the top most priority at the moment. Mr Venkatachalam said various types of investigations are in process and they will take matters to the logical end. Steps are also required to be taken to secure the dues from Nirav Modi and associates to the various Banks. In the meantime, as pointed out in our earlier letter, in the name of instructions from Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), Bank managements are busy in transferring the employees and officers. We have no conflict with the CVC guidelines as they are well-intended. We may also inform you that by and large these guidelines are being implemented by the Banks. But there is so much of over-reaction after the PNB fraud and bank managements inform us that they are under pressure to transfer enmasse employees and officers based on the cut-off date of 31-12-2017. Every year Banks are undertaking the process based on 31st March cut-off and combining the same along with the recruitments and promotions so that the guidelines are properly implemented. Because of the unilateral shift in cut-off date, there appears to be more number of staff not transferred but in any case the same would be covered as on 31-3-2018 in the ensuing process. But because of recent CVC instructions, bank managements are transferring employees and officers which is unwarranted. Secondly, this month, being the last of the current financial year, is most crucial for every Bank, the top Union leader said. Mr Venkatachalam said, the workforce is busy in mobilising as much business as possible, as much recovery is made as possible and as much income is generated as possible. Bank managements are also busy to ensure that the Balance Sheet as on 31-3-2018 is made as best and healthy as possible. Many Banks are under PCA norms of RBI and also covered by the Turnaround MoU and special efforts are on to adhere to these commitments. There are also other commitments to be adhered to arising out of recent recapitalization which has its own conditionalities, Mr Venkatachalam said. ‘’Please also permit us to point out that the next two months are very crucial for the employees and officers where their children are facing crucial examinations.Transferring them at this time would be most devastating for them and their families’’. There are well laid down policies, procedures, norms and Settlements and Agreements regulating the transfer of employees and officers and Government guidelines are already ingrained in these policies. If there have been any issue of non-implementation or mall-implementation in any Bank, the same can be taken care but there is absolutely no reason to blow this issue out of proportion. But mass transfers with an unilateral cut-off date from CVC in-between is sending wrong signals that everything is bad with public sector banks. This is the least impression that we can afford to give right now. We wish to make a complaint to you through this communication that some Bank managements, in the name of pressures from CVC/Government, are resorting to this mass transfers. Employees are even being transferred to far off places to different stations. ‘’This is unfair and hence avoidable’’. This is not the appropriate occasion for us to point out how some of the guidelines of the Government are not properly implemented by the same Bank managements. But it is pertinent to point out that in the matter of wage revision for bank employees and officers, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India have been writing to all the PSBs and IBA right from January, 2016 with periodical reminders that the wage revision process should be completed well before the due date i.e. November, 2017. The fact remains is that even the initial offer from the managements/IBA has not been forthcoming, leave alone completing the process. Thus, when it suits, Government instructions are quoted, just to transfer the employees and officers.We beg to convey to the Bank managements through you that if they feel that mass transfers of employees and officers at this crucial stage of the banking sector is the only solution and remedy for the PNB fraud, they are only inviting industrial disputes and conflicts. As responsible trade union, United Forum of Bank Unions, on its own, has decided not to proceed with the proposed strike on March 15, 2018 keeping the vitiated situation prevailing in the Banks today even though the strike call was warranted due to the delaying tactics of the managements in not settling wage revision demands. We wish and hope that bank managements will reciprocate and help the workforce to concentrate on their priority work of restoring the confidence of the people in our PSBs, the AIBEA General Secretary said in his letter.

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