New Delhi, 2nd December, 2016: "The major problem is currency crunch. Sufficient supply of cash is not there. Our ATMs dry up within a few minutes,. Even soiled, mutilated and non-issuable notes deposited by the banks with RBI are being sent back for circulation, because there is this desperate situation," says Harvinder Singh, General Secretary of All India Bank Officers' Confederation, who reportedly represents 2.75 lakh bank officers countrywide.
"No new supply is coming in required quantity. I am getting reports from many parts of the country, particularly Hyderabad, West Bengal, remote areas in UP, Noida, Ghaziabad... So, it takes a lot of time to keep the supply intact. My officers are working day and night. We are supporting the government, going to any extent, but ultimately, there is some limit.
|Harvinder Singh: Govt needs to listen to our inputs and reward bank officers for hard work... or else!|
"Nowadays, some politicians have started giving calls to the public, "If you do not get money from the bank, burn the bank, destroy the property of the bank. ATM jala do." Day before yesterday, I have sent a communication to the hon'ble Finance Minister, requesting security to our staff and bank property of public sector banks. But unfortunately, no authority is replying to our communications," said the trade union leader in an exclusive interview to Delhi-based journalist Varun Krishna on 23rd November.
"In the last 10-12 days, I have sent so many suggestions, but nobody is responding. We are supporting in implementing government policies, but my request to all of them (government) is, listen to us at least! Whatever suggestions we give is so that the system becomes efficient. The subject matter of our suggestions are concerning our daily working, and where we are directly affected by these government policies.
"Prime Minister, Finance Minister and even CVC have appreciated the job being done by bank employees, but only appreciations do not work. Our hard work – even earlier at the time of rolling out Jan Dhan Yojana -- is appreciated by everybody, but when it comes to meeting the demands of bank officers, they tell us that the banks don't have paying capacity. But how will the paying capacity come? If we are doing this job of monetization and Jan Dhan Yojana for many days, and we are not doing any profitable job, then the bank will not be in profit.
"Of course this work is desirable as far as social objective is concerned, and we are doing it. But this is not earning anything for the bank! Whereas the private sector banks are not doing all this. They will never open Jan Dhan Yojana accounts, they will not be actively participating in this demonetization process, and there are a lot of irregularities there. Nobody is checking that. So, they earn profit while we do service, but do not earn profit. But when it comes to compensation to us, profitability is linked to this.
"As general secretary of AIBOC, the largest bankers' organization representing 2.75 lakh officers, I demand from the government that we should be given our due share. Of course I understand that this is not the time to raise our demands, but I want to caution the government that if you are expecting us to do all these things, when the time comes, do not link the banks' paying capacity with our demands," said the bankers' trade union leader.
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