Money & Banking
No closures, only branch relocations after SBI merger: Chairperson
The State Bank of India (SBI) may relocate some branches after the merger of its associate banks into its fold, but none of them will be shut down, Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya has said in a bid to put rumours to rest and assuage the staff.
 
"I don't believe we will be closing down any branches. This is one area that is getting a lot of adverse publicity. We will be working with the synergies," Bhattacharya told IANS, referring to the plans to merge five associates and Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
 
"Obviously, if the same building has branches of three associate banks, it doesn't make sense to keep them open. If that branch is moved away 60 km, it will have a better reach. We will be relocating a few of them," the Chairperson told IANS over the phone.
 
The merged entity, which will have a network of more than 24,000 branches, will continue to have the same number of branches. The idea is to leverage the synergies, she added.
 
"Not only the productivity can improve, with the same number of people, we can also ensure better footprints. We can move apart branches, send out sales teams. The customer will also have access to a lot of cutting-edge products," she said.
 
The country's largest lender is looking to add $120 billion (Rs 8 lakh crore) in assets after the merger of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Maharashtra, besides the Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
 
This will catapult SBI into the top 50 banks globally, Bhattacharya said, expecting the process to get completed by March 2017. "There are some timelines and processes to follow. We'll make a good effort that it gets completed by March 2017. As of now, it is a realistic enough deadline."
 
The bank is already a 'Fortune 500' company.
 
As an outcome of the merger, the size of NPAs (non-performing assets) will obviously swell up, she said, adding that she did not have the numbers ready on that account.
 
"There are six entities involved. The issues need to be resolved, which cannot happen with the snap of the finger. The balance sheet is just the first thing. There's a lot of work eventually that needs to be done."
 
Bhattacharya is due to retire in October, much before the completion of the merger. The government is said to be considering a year-long extension so that she can oversee the entire process.
 
"I haven't heard anything from the government on my extension yet. But there will be changes and we need to be prepared for it. We have a team in all of these areas. They'll continue to do so."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Srirang C Palnitkar

9 months ago

Please be careful while editing.There is no State Bank of Maharashtra.

Understaffed, underserved: Human problems of India's public health system
On August 15, 2016, in his Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a safety net of up to Rs 100,000 for families who lived below the official poverty line. This programme, however, may do little for people who lack access to qualified medical personnel.
 
Up to 62 per cent of government hospitals don't have a gynaecologist on staff and an estimated 22 per cent of sub-centres are short of auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) -- together, gynaecologists and ANMs are the frontline of the battle against infant and maternal mortality -- according to our analysis of District Level Household Survey (DLHS-4) data. At the same time, health facilities are fewer than required, which means that the actual shortfall in personnel is much higher.
 
Our other findings:
 
-- In 30 per cent of India's districts, sub-centres with ANMs serve double the patients they are meant to.
-- As many as 65 per cent of hospitals serve more patients than government standards require; the number rises to 95 per cent if we include hospitals with a gynaecologist on staff.
-- Almost 80 per cent of all public hospitals serve twice the number of patients that government standards specify.
 
Consider these statistics in light of India's slow progress in reducing maternal and infant mortality. Despite the fact that eight in 10 babies were born in hospitals in 2011-12, up from 41 per cent in 2005-06, according to government data, India continues to have the highest rate of infant mortality among BRICS nations, as IndiaSpend reported in May 2016.
 
From 256 women who died per 100,000 live births, according to National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) surveys in 2004-06, India's maternal mortality rate (MMR) improved 30 per cent to 178 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2011-12, but this is worse than countries in the neighbourhood, such as Sri Lanka (30), Bhutan (148) and Cambodia (161), and worst among the BRICS countries: Russia (25), China (27), Brazil (44), and South Africa (138), according to the World Bank's latest estimates.
 
The NRHM was launched in 2005 to provide affordable healthcare in rural areas, improve healthcare quality and reduce maternal and infant mortality. In 2013, the mission was rebranded as the National Health Mission (NHM) with two components, NRHM and National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).
 
The budget for NRHM in 2005-06 was Rs 6,713 crore, which rose 67 per cent to Rs 11,196 crore in 2015-16. And, through the roll-out of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) insurance programme in 2008, the government of India has demonstrated a concerted effort to help the poor pay for medical expenses.
 
But, even as the number of sub-centres rose 5 per cent, from 146,026 in 2005 to 153,655 in 2015, according to Rural Health Statistics (RHS) data, a critical element of the public-health system continues to falter: There aren't enough doctors and nurses.
 
Our analysis of DLHS data reveals that a large proportion of healthcare facilities across India don't have the required number of trained medical personnel on staff, creating impossible caseloads for those on duty. This problem is most pronounced in public hospitals and rural areas, which serve the most vulnerable Indian citizens.
 
Much has been written about absenteeism amongst public sector employees and its impact on basic public services, including its impact on the quality of health services. The absenteeism rate across the public education and health sectors in India was 40 per cent, tying with Indonesia, according to 2006 study conducted across primary schools and primary health centres in six countries.
 
Much less attention has focused on the vacancies in public-sector employment and especially the public-health system. While the number of healthcare facilities across India has increased substantially, as we indicated, the count of medical personnel has not kept pace -- and rural facilities have the largest gap between the supply and demand of basic health services, as measured by vacancies.
 
Since the launch of NRHM, two rounds of DLHS (round 3 in 2008 and round 4 in 2013) have been conducted which highlight the staffing gaps in maternal and child health.
 
Gynaecologists play a crucial role in ensuring safe and healthy pregnancies and deliveries. Even with the increase in the number of facilities nationally, the number of practicing gynaecologists has not increased significantly. In 2008, the number of government hospitals -- including CHCs, sub-district hospitals (SDHs) and district hospitals (DHs) -- was 4,423, of which only 1,633, or 37 per cent, had a gynaecologist. In 2014, the number of hospitals rose to 6,318, but only 2,409, or 38 per cent, had a gynaecologist.
 
In short, DLHS-4 indicates that close to 62 per cent of hospitals do not have a gynaecologist on staff.
 
The government of India increased funding to the health sector through NRHM and put out the India Public Health Standard (IPHS) in 2007 (updated in 2012) which prescribes healthcare standards for facilities and personnel.
 
These updated standards aim to address the shortfall in doctors and other staff in public-health facilities. There should be at least one sub-centre per 5,000 people, and each sub-centre should have at least one ANM on staff, according to IPHS standards.
 
Similarly, IPHS prescribes one CHC per 120,000 people and one gynaecologist per CHC. As per these norms, India needs more than 10,000 gynaecologists in its public-hospital system. However, according to RHS data, there are only 3,429 sanctioned posts for gynaecologists across the country, of which only 1,296 have been filled. In other words, if we use IPHS as reference, CHCs have no more than 12.6 per cent of the gynaecologists they should. This number increases if we only assume the number of sanctioned posts as benchmark.
 
In the public debate over how to ensure high-quality public services for all Indians, vacancies must stand alongside absenteeism as a critical area for improvement. Until these vacancies are filled, infrastructure investments and financial safety nets will fall short of ensuring adequate access to quality healthcare for the poorest Indians.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Silloo Marker

9 months ago

It is shameful that India, one of the fastest growing economies, should have such poor health facilities for middle-class and poor citizens. Do we need so many five-star hospitals? It seems to be more lucrative for doctors and auxiliary staff to work for the private sector. It is the duty of the government to ensure the best qualified staff for its hospitals by paying them the salaries paid elsewhere. The tax-paying public needs to demand more health facilities from the government by making their own elected representatives more responsive to their demands. Mr. Modi needs to walk the talk and see that his promises become reality.

Mahesh S Bhatt

9 months ago

Each political party asks for shares in pvt hospital & earns high land costs & share in trust so why have govt hospitals? Sorry for public show & votes at minimal levels.We donot have tolilets for 1.2 crores Mumbaikars so what are we talking sweat the common man & make money simple

Mahesh

Mahesh S Bhatt

9 months ago

Each political party asks for shares in pvt hospital & earns high land costs & share in trust so why have govt hospitals? Sorry for public show & votes at minimal levels.We donot have tolilets for 1.2 crores Mumbaikars so what are we talking sweat the common man & make money simple

Mahesh

Go to high court, SC tells Vishal Dadlani
The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain a plea of music composer Vishal Dadlani to quash an FIR and to give him protection from arrest in a complaint against him for criticising Jain monk Tarun Sagar who addressed the Haryana assembly.
 
The apex court asked Dadlani to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court with his plea, and the bench of Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel declined to pass any order.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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