State run lenders, led by Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank are putting in place a centralised, online complaint mechanism which tracks complaints from customers on a real time basis. The system automatically escalates unresolved complaints ensuring quick redressal of your banking issues
Nationalised banks in India are rapidly putting in place a Standardized Public Grievances Redressal System (SPGRS) which allows bank customers and others to file complaints online, with an automatic tracking mechanism and escalation capability. This mechanism is being introduced by banks in accordance with the guidelines from the ministry of finance. The purpose of such a system is to bring in uniform customer centricity in the provision of banking services and to effectively deal with such matters within the bank. Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank have been among the first to implement this system. In Bank of Baroda’s case a detailed presentation of the new system was made to its standing committee on customer services on 24th May. The bank also plans to introduce a simple, tick-box based complaint mechanism thought its ATM machines, which allows customers to register their complaints. This, when implemented, will probably be a first by any Indian bank.
How does the complaint mechanism work? Any individual, whether a customer of that particular bank or not, can lodge grievances against a bank using the SPGRS. Under this system, bank websites are to have an ‘SPGRS’ icon leading to an online form where grievances can be filed. Physical complaints received through complaint registers at branches are to be entered into the SPGRS immediately.
The advantages of the SPGRS are numerous. Firstly, it allows the real time lodging of complaints. Any branch, regional, zonal or head office can register grievances on behalf of complainants and can view the status simultaneously. Any complaint is automatically acknowledged by email, its status can be tracked online and it is automatically escalated to the next level, if it is not addressed within the specified time period. Also, the administrative module of SPGRS can be used for qualitative analysis by regional heads for rendering better customer services.
A preliminary inspection of the websites of four of the top public sector banks revealed that while Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank have implemented SPGRS with great clarity and detail. There is a clearly visible ‘SPGRS’ icon on their websites that leads to pages through which complaints may be lodged and tracked with ease. Bank of Baroda found that over the last two quarters, the number of complaints received through SPGRS was higher than through alternative channels; they also report an increasing trend in complaints received through SPGRS.
While the SBI website does not explicitly have an SPGRS icon, its customer redressal policy follows its guidelines. It has a clear, easily accessible online form through which complaints can be made and tracked. However, Punjab National Bank’s website does not appear to have an online form for complaints. All four websites have a clearly outlined consumer redressal policy and details regarding whom to contact and timeframes after which complaints can be escalated to the next level.
The development comes close on heels of the coal ministry issuing show-cause notices to 11 firms, including JSPL, Monnet Ispat, NTPC and GVK Power last week for not developing the mines allotted to them for captive use
Taking forward its crusade against companies sitting idle on mines, the coal ministry today slapped fresh show-cause notices on 12 firms including NTPC and SAIL seeking explanation for not developing these by 30th June, failing which the blocks could be de-allocated.
“You are hereby called upon to show cause, on each milestone separately, to this ministry within a period of 20 days… as to why the delay in the development of the coal block should not be held as violation of the terms and conditions of the allotment... failing which... action as appropriate would be taken against your company for de-allocation,” the ministry said in the notices to firms today.
The development comes close on heels of the coal ministry issuing show-cause notices to 11 firms, including JSPL, Monnet Ispat, NTPC and GVK Power last week for not developing the mines allotted to them for captive use.
Apart from NTPC and SAIL, which were issued show-cause notices for failing to develop Talaipalli block and Sitanala Coking Coal block, the firms which were issued notices included TVNL, Damodar Valley Corporation, Bhushan Steel and Power, West Bengal Power Development Corporation and Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra State Mining Corporations.
Other firms which were served notice included Abhijit Infrastructure, Rungta Mines, OCL India and Ocean Ispat.
The coal ministry said while NTPC failed to commence power generation from Talaipalli block allotted to it in January 2006 by March 2012 as scheduled, SAIL failed to meet the milestone of developing Sitanala block.
The notices to firms were issued for 12 blocks including Gondulpara, Jamkhani, Brinda, Sasai, Meral, Radhikapur (West), Gangaramchak, Gangaramchak Bhadulia, Marki Barka and Warora coal blocks allotted between June 2003 and July 2007.
“One of the conditions of allocation was that coal production from captive block shall commence within 36 months in case of opencast mine and in 48 months in case of Underground mine from the date of allocation letter,” the ministry said in its notices to firms.
It said after their progress was found unsatisfactory in review meetings, an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) was constituted in June 2012 to look into the issue.
It added that the IMG in its meeting on 1st May found “no significant progress in development of coal block” and “noticed that a number of important /critical milestones are pending.”
The ministry also sought a detailed status note on the progress of end use plant by the companies which were allotted mines.
As per coal ministry officials, the IMG had decided that show-cause notices would be issued to 30 coal block allottees.
The crackdown is part of the government’s exercise to ensure that the allocated blocks do not remain unproductive.
Last year the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in a report, had estimated likely financial gains to the tune of Rs1.86 lakh crore to accrue to private firms which were allocated coal blocks without auction.
The captive coal block allocation issue has also taken political overtures while CBI is also investigating it.
Last year, in a similar exercise, the government had issued show-cause notices to 58 coal block allottees and de-allocated blocks of some developers. It also deducted bank guarantees for some others.
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