Indian Bank, in its Board Meeting held on 8 th May, has authorised amongst other things to raise Capital aggregating to Rs.4000 crores through rights issue and Rs.3000 crores through issuance of Bonds.
On 12 th May the bank has issued guidelines for engagement of specialists in Cash Management Services Vertical on Contractual Basis.
Instances like these are quite frequently happening even in Public Sector Banks against set practices and understandings reached at the Industry level. The raising of Capital through private channels is nothing but privatisation in another form. When the holding of the government in the Bank is reduced by issuance of Bonds it paves way for private entities in the Board who would act in their own interest than the interest of the Bank or the nation. This dilution of government holding in Public Sector Banks by way of Bonds and Rights issue which is being done as something regular is perceived as something normal by most bank employees even, oblivious to the fact that it is nothing but Privatisation in a smaller way. The stake holders concerned, most importantly the employees, are never consulted in such a serious issue. This perception of the employees and that of the public that raising of Capital is not of their concern and the Unions which do not protest against such decisions of the Board makes things easy for the Management.
Recruiting personnel according their own set rules, on contractual basis, by Indian Bank, negates the set practice and pattern of recruitment followed hitherto, through Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) and through Banking Service Recruitment Board (BSRB), earlier, which recruited personnel only on a permanent nature. Adequate recruitment in Public Sector Banks is one of the pioneering demands of Trade Unions in PSBs and most of the Trade Union Conferences pass unanimous resolutions urging the government and the managements in this regard, whereas, in reality the number of recruitments carried out by IBPS is deteriorating every year with many PSBs indenting in hundreds which was in thousands, few years ago. With banks like Indian Bank going for Contractual employment in key areas, the problem of recruitment in banks is likely to get aggravated with many categories of employees with conflicting and contrasting interests and payment structures in the field. Another important issue that will be compromised in this type of recruitment is the reservation system which is otherwise followed in normal recruitment procedures. This would also favour nepotism as the procedure would not be transparent. This move by Indian Bank is in no way going to address the issue of “adequate recruitment”, on the contrary it would bring about a new set of employees which would create confusion and division amongst employees. The need of the hour is adequate PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT and not such stop gap arrangements.
We do hope the Unions functioning in the banking industry will take into cognisance such instances of back door privatisation and shutting off permanent employment by the Management of Indian Bank, in right earnest and seriousness, in raising meaningful protests against such unilateral decisions of the Management, which obviously is against the interest of the working class and for privatisation.