Indian Banks' Association (IBA) is an unincorporated, independent association of its members, not engaged in any business for the sole purpose of profit and gain, which works as per the mandate given by its members, the Union government says.
"Further, IBA has informed that, as per the mandate given by its member banks, it processes applications of transport operators and advises their names to banks for inclusion in their list of empanelled transport operators," Dr Bhagwat Karad, minister of state for finance, told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
Manish Tewari, a member of Parliament (MP), has asked whether IBA, with over 200 members, is a registered entity that is undertaking and indulging in acts of gain. He also asked if IBA is the approving authority for transport operators for discounting their transport receipts by public sector banks (PSBs) and is charging Rs1.77 lakh for each approval from over 700 approved transport operators and whether the ministry of finance has authorised the Association to do this business.
While IBA processes and advises names of transport operators, Dr Karad says, "It is at the sole discretion of the member banks whether or not to accept IBA's advice for inclusion of a transport operator in its empanelled list of transport operators."
IBA has also informed that for a three-year application, it charges Rs1.50 lakh plus goods and services tax (GST), a one-time application fee of Rs45,000 and a processing fee of Rs35,000pa (per annum) plus GST for new cases.
For renewals, it charges Rs1.05 lakh and GST to cover the cost and other expenses involved in processing applications. It includes processing of various financial parameters, assessing credit worthiness, loan repayments, account operations, banker's confidential report, RTO (regional transport office)-related compliances, vehicle ownership, vehicle fitness, verification from Vahan site, checking MCA records, scrutiny of complaints, if any, documentation, vehicle tax payment status, routine permits, and agencies, the minister of state says.
Replying to another question of whether whole-time directors of PSBs have been permitted by the ministry to hold ex-officio posts in IBA, Dr Karad says, "As per inputs provided by IBA, there are no ex-officio posts in IBA."
Mr Tewari, the MP, also asked if IBA is competent to sign any contract or settlement with bank employees union under the Indian Contract Act and if it is being done on directions from the ministry.
According to Dr Karad, based on the specific mandate given by its member banks, IBA facilitates wage negotiation between banks and their employees.
In November 2022, four unions—All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA), National Confederation Bank Employees (NCBE), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF)—signed a written agreement with IBA after talks that went on for almost three years.
According to the unions, the increase in the wage bill was about Rs3,385 crore for the 29 banks covered—12 PSBs, 10 private banks and seven foreign banks—benefiting about 500,000 bankers. The agreement period is from November 2017 to October 2022.