Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has made its sixth oil discovery in the Gujarat block Cambay Basin-ONN-2003/1 (CB 10 A&B), awarded under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) V round of exploration bidding.
The well CB10A-T1 was drilled to a total depth of 1,500 m in the block CB-ONN-2003/1 near Ahmedabad. The hydrocarbon bearing zone was identified from 1390-1402.5 m. Conventional production testing was carried out in the interval 1390-1395 m. The well flowed at a rate of 415 barrels of oil per day (bopd).
The discovery, named ‘Dhirubhai–49’, the sixth oil discovery in the block so far, has been notified to the Government of India, and to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons. The potential commercial interest of the discovery is being ascertained through additional data gathering and analysis. The discovery supplements the understanding of the petroleum system in the Cambay Basin in general and the block in particular.
On Friday, RIL’s shares ended 3.03% up at Rs1,046 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.84% up at 17,064.
VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd (VECV) would invest Rs290 crore at its Pithampur plant in Madhya Pradesh for the production and final assembly of the Volvo Group's new global medium-duty engine platform. VECV is a joint venture between India's Eicher Motors and Sweden's Volvo.
VECV is already producing about 40,000 engines per year in its existing Pithampur plant. The new investment in Pithampur will result in an annual production capacity of an additional 85,000 engines. In addition to production of the base engine, the facility will also conduct final assembly of engines for India and all of Volvo Group's global markets with Euro III and Euro IV emission requirements.
Apart from VECV's investment in India, the Volvo Group is making an additional investment of Rs2,766 million in Volvo Powertrain's (VPT) production plants in Ageo, Japan and Venissieux, France. The new medium-duty platform comprises 5,7 and 8-litre engines in configurations for 215 to 350 horsepower.
On Friday, Eicher Motors’ shares ended 15.62% up at Rs921 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.84% up at 17,064.
With a severe shortfall of manpower looming large, bank unions have made demands with IBA and the AK Khandelwal committee for restoration of BSRB and bringing salaries on par with private sector banks and other industries
It is estimated that public sector banks (PSBs) are likely to witness a shortfall to the tune of 3 lakh employees in the next three years. Senior level employees on the verge of retirement constitute a chunk of this outflow. With such a shortage expected to hit PSBs soon, bank employees' unions are raising a hue and cry about its implications and calling for immediate alterations in the salary structure and recruitment procedures.
Commenting on the anticipated shortfall, Subhash Sawant, general secretary, Indian National Bank Employees' Federation, said, "Three lakh people will leave in the next three years. One lakh people went out in 2001 under voluntary retirement schemes (VRS). In the last two years, there has been pickup in recruitment, but only nominal-not enough to fill the gaps. Now that the pension option has been given, 10%-15% of employees will definitely leave. This means that 60,000-70,000 people will be exiting banks soon."
Mr Sawant also highlighted the problems with current recruitment process followed by PSBs. "Under the current recruitment procedure, it takes a long time (roughly 9 months) for the entire process. They first issue the advertisements, call for applications, take the exam, call for interviews and then announce the results.
In the meantime, the candidates appear for other bank exams. Until and unless a board like BSRB (Banking Services Recruitment Board) is not revived, this problem for banks will persist."
Mr Sawant cited the example of the recent recruitment drive conducted by Central Bank of India where the bank recruited 800 people, of which only 600 reported for duty. Of these, 400 people left the bank after joining and now, only 200 still serve the bank.
Employee unions are also demanding that the government take a closer look at the current salary structure, which is acting as a huge deterrent for employees to remain with the banks. Shekhar Kadam, secretary of the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), Maharashtra, confirmed that it is becoming increasingly difficult for banks to retain talent. "Though banks are recruiting people, we are not able to retain them. The attrition rate is very high in PSBs. People are leaving immediately after training. They jump to some other banks or sectors with better salary packages. Our demand with IBA is that the initial package should be good so that more people join this sector. The incremental growth is also slow and nobody is willing to wait it out for so long. Recruitment is underway in many banks, but still acute shortage is there, particularly at the officer level. Now, after this pension option is given to these officers, many will be opting for that and submitting their papers."
Mr Sawant agrees, "Even if they (employees) join after passing the exams, the starting salary is so low that there is no attraction to stay. Also, the bank may post you in places you don't want to be and hence, you think of shifting jobs the moment you get something you desire."
Also, to make the recruitment process more efficient, unions are calling for the revival of the now defunct BSRB, which used to conduct examinations across all PSBs under its aegis. It was abolished in 1998, after which banks started recruiting on their own.
Explaining the efficacy of having the BSRB system, Mr Sawant said, "Earlier, banks used to come and recruit people in one go. Banks were asked on their requirement, based on which exams used to be conducted for all banks under one board. If required, they used to empanel more people, because of which we never used to see this kind of difficulty."
Vishwas Utagi, secretary, All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) says that this issue has been raised with the government and that there has been a positive response. "We want the BSRB to be restored to ease the recruitment pressure in all cadres, not just clerks and officers. Very recently, we have highlighted this aspect to the Khandelwal committee. We want that recruitments should be regulated properly through the BSRB. Recruitment has started now, but the pace is very slow. Almost 35% of the bank employees will be leaving by 2013. So to that extent, recruitment must take place in a faster way. But it should be institutionalised, not pretentious and haphazard."
A top-level committee under the chairmanship of former CMD of Bank of Baroda, AK Khandelwal, has already been appointed to make recommendations on the human resources (HR) issues of PSBs. When Moneylife contacted Mr Khandelwal, he confirmed that various suggestions have been received from several unions and that these were being looked into. He declined to comment further on this issue.
Several banks like Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Union Bank and others have either already started recruitment on a large scale or have drawn up plans to do so.
While unions are painting a bleak picture, there is also a contrarian view. After the recent economic crisis, private sector recruitment, especially in glamour sectors such as retail, BPOs and services has not picked up significantly. Hence, banks, specifically PSBs, which offer better job security and benefits have become more attractive as employers.