Banking Industry needs adequate and more recruitments at award staff cadres and not persons on contract in violation of awards and settlements

N Rajagopal

The banking industry in India has witnessed tumultuous periods and is today an exalting model to many countries. The huge presence of public sector banks in India is attributed to be the main reason that had built up the confidence of general public. But, slowly and steadily, this industry is being targeted to be privatised much against the wish of the people of this country. They fear  that their hard earned savings will vanish if these banks are given to a private entity. Their fear is true. India has witnessed hundreds of banks becoming bankrupt, thereby depositors losing their savings. Thanks to the nationalisation of banks way back in 1969 and 1980, henceforth failed banks were merged with public sector banks and the savings of the people got secured.

Today, the banking industry has grown manifold. The public sector, the co-operative banks, the regional rural banks are contributing their mite for the development of the country, economically. Instead of strengthening these banks, the government at the center is contemplating privatising them. The absence of political will to recover fully the huge bad loans, merger of banks, closure of bank branches, forcing the bank boards to go in for compromise settlement with willful loan defaulters are some of the main ills that plague the banks today. Yes, it is very true that such policies of governments at the center since advent of neo-liberal policies in 1991, are the main reason for the ills of the banking industry. Despite the lifting of ban on recruitments in banks, the bank managements are under some compulsions from the power corridors and are not inclined to go in for adequate recruitments at all levels in general and at award staff cadres level in particular.

Adequate recruitment of award staff has become a necessity, as the bank business and the services offered have grown extensively. The traditional banking has given way to product banking. Every bank is on its heels to introduce new products and services to its customers. It is on record that the recruitment at the feeder level has been reduced drastically, thereby made the counter service despondent. It is estimated that about 2 lakh vacancies are left unfilled at clerical cadre. The banks have almost refrained from recruiting sub-staff cadres. Here and there persons on contracts are being absorbed much against the awards and settlements at the industry level. Even for them, neither the banks, as a principle employer ensures minimum wages and other service conditions enshrined as per laws nor the contractor discharges them.

The figure speak louder

Year EndingTotal Business (in crores)Workmen in PSBsBusiness per employee in PSBs (in lakh)Operating profits in PSBs (in crores)Clerical Recruitment through IBPSNPAs in PSBs (in crores)
Mar 20171363401446999717771555857883750256
Mar 20181395697245254818471556897275895600
Mar 201914378738419462170815365512075739541
Mar 20201520653244335619431735958160678318
Mar 202116248183391612194319486312315616615
Mar 202217761303340000*21152011726615542173

* Approximately

It is to be noted that on 04th October 1999, the Verma Committee submitted its recommendations to the Governor, RBI. The panel amongst other proposals, recommended the following:

  • Staff strength to be reduced by 25% through VRS
  • 5 year wage freeze from November 1997
  • Retrenched employees can be utilised for deposit mobilisation and recovery of NPAs

If one could infer from the above recommendations, it is very clear where the government banks are being led into. The bank unions have gone on various forms of agitations including strike actions demanding adequate recruitments, more particularly at workmen cadres. The recruitment of award staff is not in commensurate with the increase in bank business.

The government, which should act as a model employer, is abrogating its responsibility in this regard. The absence of adequate recruitment of award staff will lead to a chaotic situation in banks. The true character of public sector banks will be vanished.

The government banks, which have been serving the banking public and implementing the calls of the government are to be protected. To achieve this, the bank unions, the retirees forum, the banking public should join and demand adequate recruitments at all levels with more emphasis at award staff levels.



  1. This article is to highlight the plight of the award staffs at bank branches. Hope, this article helps bank employees in organising themselves for a struggle to achieve their just demand

  2. என் பெயர் வசந்த் நானும் வங்கி ஊழியர்தான் empanaled attender temporary attender இன்னும் பணி நியமன ஆணை வழங்கப்படவில்லை e syndicate

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