Banking
“Over Rs750 crore lying in inactive post office saving accounts”

“Rs752,44,57,414.03 is the amount lying in all inactive (silent) accounts as on 31 March 2011 in 2,49,59,446 accounts,” telecom minister Kapil Sibal said in a written reply to Lok Sabha

New Delhi: The government today said around Rs752 crore is lying as unclaimed deposits in more than 2.49 crore inactive savings accounts in post offices, reports PTI.

 

“Rs752,44,57,414.03 is the amount lying in all inactive (silent) accounts as on 31 March 2011 in 2,49,59,446 accounts,” telecom minister Kapil Sibal said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

 

West Bengal led the tally of unclaimed deposits with over Rs107 crore lying in 20.16 lakh accounts, followed by Tamil Nadu (Rs105.87 crore in 62.72 lakh accounts) and Uttar Pradesh (Rs68.61 crore in 21.74 lakh accounts).

 

“The depositor of such account can activate the account at any time by transaction. Notices are issued every year to the account holder of such accounts who are not maintaining minimum balance. Special drives are launched to re-activate such accounts by issuing notices and giving information through electronic media,” Mr Sibal said.

 

Responding to another query, Mr Sibal said 79,604 complaints for non-delivery of registered letters, 41,794 for Speed Post and 8,257 related to parcels were received in the April-June, 2012 period.

 

“Of these, 73,077 complaints for registered post, 38,154 for Speed Post and 6,147 for parcels were addressed. As on 30 June 2012, 6,527 complaint cases of registered letters, 3,640 cases of Speed Post and 2,110 cases of parcels are pending,” he said.

 

The major reason for the pendency are involvement of more than one postal circle/ state in processing the complaints, time taken in making detailed inquiry or investigation and non-submission of the required details by the complainant in some cases, he added.

 

The minister added that during 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12, departmental action has been initiated in 1,287 cases against postal employees and penalties have been imposed in 1,157 cases for non-delivery and loss of articles, etc.

 

In a separate reply, minister of state for communications and IT Sachin Pilot said the Department of Posts’ (DoP) volume as well as revenue from speed post has continuously increased over the years.

 

“The volume of Speed Post has increased from 21.14 crore in 2008-09 to 24.08 crore in 2009-10, 27.45 crore in 2010-11 to 39.19 crore in 2011-12,” Mr Pilot said.

 

Revenues from speed posts have also grown from Rs515 crore in 2008-09 to Rs614 crore in 2009-10, Rs749 crore in 2010-11 and Rs900 crore in 2011-12, he added.

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Personal Finance Exclusive
Public sector bank officers avoid promotions, even as banks are on strike nationwide

Of late, there is a disturbing trend where vacancies for officers in public sector banks are plenty but there are no takers, says an editorial in Officers’ Voice, Journal of Corporation Bank Officers’ Organisation  

 
Corporation Bank (and other public sector banks alike) faces a new set of human resources problems, which include serious questions such as why clerical staff, who satisfy eligibility do not opt for promotion; why officers are not coming forward to take up promotion to Scale II and Scale III; are they afraid to take up higher responsibilities? These questions are raised in the editorial of Officers’ Voice, August 2012, the journal of Corporation Bank Officers’ Organisation. 
 
The editorial underlines the observation that the “Post of branch manager has become a bed of thorns”, as public sector banks’ officers are frequently dodging promotions and are satisfied with status quo in their individual careers. The editorial adds that the branch manager has to have the mental preparedness to bear the abuses from the superiors over the phone and in open meetings for his failure to achieve targets accepted by him voluntarily. This leads to low self-esteem. 
 
The branch manager cannot expect full support from his staff either. According to the editorial, “Today, no branch manager can dream of a branch with full complement of staff, thanks to our ‘professional manpower planning’ over the years and ‘soft opening’ of branches.”
 
The journal sums up the problem with branch managers’ posts as one that needs an immediate solution: “Any delay in this regard will have a devastating effect on the future growth of this great institution—Corporation Bank.”  Human resources are the assets, which are not reflected in the bank’s balance sheet but it determines its size and the efficiency.
 
The Officers’ Voice also has a section for members’ reactions and the current issue has sharp reactions on performance appraisal of officers in Corporation Bank and their promotions. According to a member, “Out of the many stipulations in the new policy of the finance ministry, the main contentious issue is minimum marks of 75% in APAR (Annual Performance Appraisal Report) each year.” Since the target was steep, the member adds that the Corporation Bank management had to take up with the finance ministry to reduce the minimum APAR marks to 60%, as sufficient eligible candidates were not available. Also, the member has made the observation, “Many reporting officers have a wrong notion that their higher-ups will question their assessing capability if they award more marks in APAR.” The member jokes that the assessment is not of the appraisee officer’s performance but is an assessment of the reporting officer’s attitude.
 
Apart from APAR, interview is also a part of the promotion process, and it has a major influence on the outcome of the final result. According to the member, “There are complaints from promotion aspirants that the interview process is also used to eliminate the candidate against whom there is a bias.”
 
The member’s reaction in the Officers’ Voice concludes that the finance ministry’s guidelines, instead of clarifying the issues in performance appraisals and promotions, have created large scale confusion and demoralisation of officers.
 
The comments in the Officers’ Voice also include those of TR Bhat in his column ‘Plainspeak,’ where he remarks that the finance ministry has now attempted to reduce autonomy for the public sector banks, and that it is neither good for the banks nor to the banks’ customers. The reduction in autonomy is also in the area of human resources management for the banks.
 
According to Mr Bhat, “Between October/ November last year and June this year, the finance ministry issued a series of guidelines regarding internal promotions, performance appraisal, rural service, business strategies and conduct of Board meetings.” 
 
He observes that the implications of the ministry’s approach are far reaching. In Corporation Bank, the waitlisted Scale VI officers could not get promoted to Scale VII (general manager cadre), as the posts were reduced. They became ineligible to participate on account of the increase in APAR marks with retrospective effect. Mr Bhat adds that the average performance of an officer over the years being considered would be more appropriate for this purpose.
 
Also, Mr Bhat points out that the ministry’s guidelines regarding the time frame for completion of transfer process are impractical in Corporation Bank. 
 
Thus, Mr Bhat is clear that the earlier trend towards autonomy in public sector banks was more favourable for human resource management in Corporation Bank.
 
Corporation Bank has evolved over the years and faced many challenges with respect to officers’ careers and growth within the bank. The current challenge is also a big one and needs to be crossed effectively. 
 

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COMMENTS

TIHARwale

5 years ago

Nothing surprising that officers are not offering themselves for promotion from Scale II to scale III. this is due to historical reasons. what happens in this regard say in a Hyderabad head quartered Public Sector Bank. this Bank was a victim in Harshad Mehta scam in 1992. so what happened youngsters who joined the Bank as as Prob Officers in late 1985 ( in the age group 23-25 then) got their first promotion call in 1999. so after that by 2010 only 5-6 from the 1985 batch could become CM only and others still stuck up in MM III and all of them reached age of 50 and Bank has got about 70 % in A.P. state so other than natives of A.P. lost interest in promotion because they will be seperated from family. more than 25% of officers of this Bank are forced to stay away from family as children will be in deceive stage of their education / matrimony etc and additionally the perverts in Top Management in GM level issue guidelines where any branch Manager can be booked any day for non compliance. branch will not be provided with daftary to stich vouchers. but Managers are expected to certify all vouchers are available, verified etc. similarly without team of officials to complete inspection of borrowers units to see units are functioning etc and submit certificate. list like the above difficulties will be long like a laundry list. so u don't get officers ready to become Branch heads and so the possibility of staff not opting out for Manager assignments and promotions are likely to increase in coming days. so naturally no officer having put in 25+ years is ready to work under sadistic Top Management with threats of SUSPENSION instead of PENSION. rather the Chief General Manager who attained retirement on the last day of Feb this year had the mortification of getting one increment cut on the last day of his service. rather he was fortunatate to receive increment cut insted of SUSPENSION which would have affected his PENSION settlement. Don't u recall VRS in 2000-2001 was successful in Banking industry only and if a similar offer is given today there may not be officers left in the Bank even to process VRS papers as staff with age 50+ are more than 50% in this Hyderabad HQed Public Sector Bank

About 10 lakh bank employees to go on strike on 22-23 August

Employees from around 47 banks are planning to go on a two-day strike on 22nd-23rd August to protest the proposed reforms in the banking sector and outsourcing of jobs

 
Around 10 lakh bank employees and officers working in 27 public sector banks including State Bank of India (SBI) and 12 old generation private sector banks and eight foreign banks will resort to two days nationwide strike on 22nd and 23rd August, says United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU). UFBU is the umbrella organisation of five employee unions and four officer unions of state-run banks in the country.
 
The Chief Labour Commissioner has called the bank union on 21st August for a conciliation meeting on strike notice, the statement added.
 
The UFBU said it is against the proposed banking sector reforms, unilateral imposition of the Khandelwal committee report and want appointment on compassionate ground. 
 
"The banking reform measures are retrograde but the government is still pursing the same and hence our protest," the statement said.
 
The Banking Laws Amendment Bill, 2011, which is before Parliament, contains provisions such as raising of shareholders' voting rights from 10% to 26% in private banks and suppression of bank boards.
 
There are about 87,000 branches of public sector banks across the country. The state-owned lenders control about 75% banking business.
 
UFBU is opposed to recommendations of the Khandelwal Committee which was appointed by Central Government to suggest changes in Human Resource policies in the banks. Here are the points raised by the UFBU...
   
1. From 1950s, we have common wages and service conditions.  Now, this committee has recommended Bank specific wage structure based on profitability, productivity etc.
2. All these years we have uniform wage and service conditions.  Now, the committee wants introduction of fixed and variable pay concept.  A portion of wage will be fixed and balance will vary according to performance.  This is impracticable in the banking sector and will result in division of employees and promote sycophancy.
3. The committee has also recommended that settlements with unions on transfer of employees to be reviewed and to give free hand to the managements to transfer employees from place to place.
4. The Committee has suggested 50% of officer vacancies should be filled directly from the market instead of promoting clerks.  This will seriously affect the career of employees.
5. The report says that minimum qualification for appointing a clerk should be graduation.  All these years, matriculates are eligible to join the Banks.  Now, lakhs and lakhs of such unemployed youth will be deprived the opportunity.
6. Similarly, so far, the qualification to join the banks as peon / class IV employee is 8th Standard failed.  The committee says that it should be matriculation.  This is also absurd.
7. The Report says that Banks should not make any appointments in the urban areas but workload in the banks warrants the same.
8. The committee has suggested outsourcing of all the regular bank jobs which is unfair labour practice.  
 
"All these measures are anti-employee and anti-trade union and they are targeted to attack collective bargaining. Further overlooking the settlement the Government is giving unilateral guidelines on various service conditions. UFBU is opposed to such unilateralism," the bank unions have said.
 
UFBU would held massive rallies in all district places and cities across the country. "In Mumbai there will be rally at the Azad Maidan on 22nd and 23rd August, said Vishwas Utagi, general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA). 
 

Nine unions, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation Of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation Of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation Of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation Of Bank Officers (NOBO) have given the call for strike under the UBFU umbrella.

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