Bankers Forced to Deviate From ‘Break the Chain’- AIBOC Expresses Strong Resentment
Banks across the country have been asked to dispense with ‘skeletal’ staff requirement and work in full strength to handle relief measures amidst the corona virus (COVID19) outbreak. However, this move hampers the social distancing or break the chain norms that everyone is required to follow.
 
While the government may use direct benefit transfer (DBT) to transfer money in to accounts of beneficiaries, many of these account holders are crowing in banks to withdraw cash. 
 
The All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) has expressed strong resentment against these 'unreasonable and illogical decisions' taken by a section of authorities. It also urged Debasish Panda, secretary in the department of financial services to redress the issues at the earliest, in the best interest of banking personnel as well as the nation.
 
According to AIBOC, most of the state level bankers’ committees (SLBCs) as well as management of certain banks have directed that all branches should continue to function normally.
 
"We strongly feel that in the present scenario, it would be a welcome step to continue opening of only minimal number of branches. This will enable the bank staff – who have already been facing the situation of non-availability of transport facilities and payment of exorbitant sum to the transport operators in the wake of universal lockdown and instructions on curfew – to attend their duties and extend the minimum essential services in line with the latest directive from Indian Bank's Association (IBA) issued on 30 March 2020, besides implementing the schemes and measures announced by the finance minister to render service to the community," it says.
 
However, the Confederation says, certain banks have gone to the extent of directing that in order to cater to the expected increase in the volume of transactions and urgent banking requirements due the coronavirus relief measures announced by the government, all branches should work on full strength from 31 March 2020 across the country till further instructions. This, dispenses with the roster policy and working on a skeletal strength or arrangements for rotation of staff members, as well as working from home measures announced by banks in their earlier circulars.
 
Although it is advised to take all safeguards for COVID19 prevention like social distancing, enabling limited number of customers on the branch at a given point of time, maintaining adequate distance, staff wearing masks and gloves and frequent use of sanitisers, and customers using protective gear the ground reality is different, AIBOC says.
 
According to the Confederation, most of the branches does not have security guards, while possibilities of deployment of police, home guards and security personnel are remote because of the all-pervading lockdown and lack of adequate personnel who are ready to take up such jobs. It says, "Most of the branch premises have space just to fit the number of counters and staffs and the prescribed distance of 1meter to 1.5 metres between two counters is hardly maintained. In addition, supply of masks and sanitisers is not adequate even in cities like Bengaluru, Kolkata and Delhi, not to speak about the smaller centres and rural and semi-urban areas."
 
On the other hand, AIBOC says imminent sequel of the latest directives of FM is resulting in humongous workload on bank employees everywhere for reviving long inoperative Jan Dhan accounts, added responsibilities to manage surging crowd in every bank branch, not to mention high risk bankers face of exposing themselves, their families and all people with whom they would be interacting, to the dreadful virus. This defeats the very purpose of the national lockdown and imperative need for social distancing declared by none other than the prime minister, it added. 
 
The Confederation says it strongly feels that the government and bank management has paid limited attention to the hygiene or safety of the bank employees and officers and is in the process of exposing the entire banking fraternity and its stakeholders to avoidable risk even in the scenario of number of coronavirus spread 
 
"We are of the considered view that this irrational approach of a section of the authorities is a blatant deviation from ‘break the chain’ advocated by experts is not only inimical to the safety and security of the employees and officers of the banks but would also lead to multiplied chances of contamination to themselves and their family members as well as the public at large by way of community transmission causing serious irreparable repercussions to the society, at a time when the pandemic is poised to enter its third stage in our country," AIBOC added.
 
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    COMMENTS

    Ramesh Popat

    7 months ago

    Very right!

    REPLY

    Mubashirhu

    In Reply to Ramesh Popat 7 months ago

    Alas; 'Here in our nation govt. as well as people are always right'. Bankers are treated as good as slaves who must follow orders😥

    Public Sector Banks start deferring EMI payments by 3 months, SBI takes lead
    Customers who receive EMI payment notice at the beginning of every month can heave a sigh of relief as banks have decided to defer receiving such payments for a period of three month under the terms of a Covid 19- RBI package announced on Friday.
     
    Several banks, including State Bank of India, sent tweets on Tuesday informing the customers that they have deferred payment of EMIs of housing loan, vehicle loans, MSME loans and payment of all other term loans whose installentins are due after March 1 and up to May 31 by three months.
     
    The system of deferment will function automatically as most banks would not raise demand for EMIs for next three months. The repayment period post the moratorium will also get extended accordingly.
     
    The scheme would be available to all borrowers having standard account with the bank, meaning they have no record on default in the past.
     
    However, customers who do not want to defer their EMIs and want to continue paying their loan instalment will have to inform banks that they don't need to utilise the moratorium on payments.
     
    Banks have also issued mailers and put FAQs on their sites informing the customers about the scheme.
     
    It is expected that several customers may opt out of the EMI deferment as during the the said moratorium period, interest shall continue to accrue on the outstanding portion of the term loan. The interest accrued will be added to the outstanding loan amount and the repayment schedule for such loans as also the residual tenor, will be shifted across the board by three months after the moratorium period.
     
    "Bank of Baroda is providing a moratorium of 3 months on payment of a ll instalments falling due between 01.03.20 & 31.05.20 for all term loans in cluding corporate, MSME, agriculture, retail, housing, auto, personal loans, etc. in pursuance of the RBI COVID-19 Regulatory Package," the PSU bank said in a tweet.
     
    Analysts and experts tracking the sector said that simple interest rate would be calculated by banks for the three-month period in which loan repayment was due but was not paid under the moratorium. This would be added up into your EMIs at the end of three-month forbearance, raising your monthly bill.
     
    So, if you're deferring payment of an EMI of, say Rs 1,000, and the bank is charging interest at the rate 10 per cent on outstanding, you will end up paying Rs 25 extra on each of the three EMIs that has not been paid during the moratorium. This additional interest may either be added up to all your future EMIs or your loan tenure could get extended at the same EMI level.
     
    While the clarity has not been offered by banks, the EMI deferment would actually benefit customers to defer two instalments falling due in the months of April and May as from June regular EMI payment will start with the instalment getting higher (including principal and interest two months instalment) or if EMI is maintained at original level, the tenure of repayment gets extended as additional interest gets adjusted in all future EMIs.
     
    The Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday announced a three-month moratorium on EMIs of all term loans due during March 1 to May 31 and said that the repayment schedule for all those loans would be shifted by three months after the moratorium.
     
    This will bring relief to all borrowers, including those who have home loans, auto loans, education loans, agricultural term loans, retail and crop loans to their names. It will also be applicable on credit card dues.
     
    As of January-end, over Rs 13 lakh crore of housing loans and Rs 2 lakh crore of auto loans were outstanding, data with the Reserve bank of India shows.
     
    Besides retail borrowers, micro, small and medium enterprises and large companies will also benefit from the RBI's relaxation of loan repayment.
     
    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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    Mallya reiterates offer to return bank dues, seeks Centre's help
    Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Tuesday reiterated his offer to return the money he owed to a consortium of Indian banks, and sought Centres help in view of the nationawide lockdown in India.
     
    "India is under a lockdown, and we respect it. But the functioning of my companies has stopped due to lockdown. All production has shut, but we are still not sending back our employees and thus paying for it. So, the government should help us," Mallya, who is staying in the UK after fleeing India, tweeted in the morning.
     
    Mallya said that he had made offers to return the outstanding dues many times but neither the banks nor the Enforcement Directorate were cooperating.
     
    He said that he hoped that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would listen to him in this hour of crisis.
     
    Mallya, who is staying abroad for the last four years, is not willing to return to India to face charges. He allegedly owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to 13 Indian banks.
     
    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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