The Syndicate Bank Staff Association, an affiliate of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, has urged the Centre to invite all trade unions for a dialogue on the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill.
KS Bhat, All-India Vice-President of the Association, said this would help allay apprehensions over the varied interpretations of the Bill aired by interested quarters despite the Prime Minister’s assurance that there was no need for the public to panic.
According to him, some of the bank employee unions have found a perfect alibi in the FRDI Bill to divert attention from the 10th industry-level bipartite talks for wage revision, which have all but stalled. It is unfortunate that these unions have fallen prey to the delaying tactics of the India Banks’ Association (IBA), Bhat said.
“We are of the opinion that the United Forum of Bank Unions should insist on holding continuous discussions on a war-footing and not allow for piecemeal negotiations.”
Bhat also said that the Syndicate Bank Staff Association would vehemently oppose the move of the closure of branches on the pretext of viability and persistent losses.
“Public sector banks have certain social obligations and they are bound to implement various programmes/schemes of the government. Hence, closure of branches cannot be justified.”
Instead, the government should take stringent action against unproductive spending by banks under the heads ranging from opening new regional/zonal offices or shifting of administrative offices to changing the colour of sign boards.
Bhat said that Syndicate Bank should recruit adequate staff, especially workmen cadre, and deploy employees properly in order to stop the piling-up of NPAs (non-performing assets).
A detailed probe should be ordered to identify the role of all directors (including workmen as well as officers) on the board of banks at the time of sanctioning of loans which have eventually turned bad.
Selection of Employee-Director and Officer-Director should have been conducted in true spirit of ‘worker participation in management’. Workmen/officer directors should be elected either through referendum or secret ballot system; else, the interests of neither employees or the institution would be protected.
According to Bhat, it is high time India came out from the Basel III framework. Basel norms are needed/required in the West becuse of liquidity issues. In India, however, the liabilities are largely realisable. “Given this, Basel norms are not suited for our economy. We urge the Centre to think over, and a take bold step.”