Saturday, September 13, 2014

Why Public Sector Banks Are Sick?

In Public Sector Banks , Human Resource Department is not at all working the way they are supposed to work. HRD is functioning as if they are Human Record Keeper. You may name them HRK. RBI and Ministry of Finance work on certificates submitted by Banks that they (banks ) are healthy. Auditors and inspectors are selling their signatures. Very few are true vigilance officers , mostly it is VO who provide umbrellas to corrupt officers. And so on....Corrupt officers are exonerated by corrupt team of inquiry and investigative officials.
Otherwise there is no paucity of talented persons. Staff who join bank should be properly groomed, trained and motivated .The freshers should be treated in such a way that they start feeling proud of bank they joined. Good work of each staff should be praised before all and bad works of any staff should be dealt with in closed door room and such bad work should be taken as an opportunity to upgrade the quality of staff and not as an opportunity to abuse and rebuke .

There should be time bound promotions to motivate working in public sector banks . Flattery and bribery based recruitment, promotion and posting of staff should be stopped. Promotions based on recommendations of VIPs should be stopped by hook or by crook. Posting of officers should be made transparent and should not be solely dependent of whims of any boss or any interviewer but should be made dependent on decisions of a committee of at least five persons.

Wage of bank employees at all levels should be increased to retain talented workforce and stop people resigning from bank. Exodus of talented workforce are enough to give warning signals. Incentives should be given from time to time and these incentive should also be based on well thought indiscriminately rationales. Nothing should be left on whims and mercy of higher officials because majority of them do not deserve trust or are incapable to take a judicious decision .
It is the weakness of HRD and also that of our management system which are unable to keep good guys in banks. After all young guys join bank to earn bread and butter and also for getting respect in the society. In seventies and eighties ,unemployed youth used to feel elevated the moment they get joining order in banks service. Youth used to feel proud of bank service and their status used to be much higher in the society. On the contrary , now bank job is only the last resort to survive for an unemployed youth. Bank staff use to work late till night and they are unable to take care of their family .Erosion in status of bank employees started from 1991 and have reached to bottom during last decade.

The key reason is that there is corruption at all level. Reign of terror and culture of flattery has caused irrepairable loss to bank's health. No respect for those who work hard and devotedly. There is no proper place for sitting in many branches. Higher bosses do not give due recognition to good work done by juniors. Bosses search persons who are perfect Yes-man and who can earn bribe and share with them. Staffs who are expert in sycophancy moves faster in career. Even in recruitments, youth who are kith and kin of top officials are recruited in higher scale and paid higher salary . This dirty culture has created frustration among good workers as also in freshers.

Old guys are also not so much enthusiastic to serve and save banks , they are also passing days and waiting retirement. This is one of main reasons why assets in banks are moving from good to bad and from bad to worse and finally to losses. Volume of bad assets and stressed asses will continue to rise until Bank management learn and act to give weightage to experienced and talented workers.
I sometimes feel that as per PCR recommendations of 1978 , retirement age should be 55 years of age or 30 years of service so that at least weak and average workers leave the bank and in that place talented youth join bank . This will improve overall quality of service as also reduce wage load. HRD should be manned by experienced officers and/ or highly talented professions recruited from IIMs. and so on . Promotions should be based on strictly seniority. Merit oriented promotion policy has a lot of loopholes which is used by corrupt officials at top to turn it flattery oriented policy.

In India it is hard to imagine that a boss of public sector bank of and PSU will be absolutely and perfectly honest in recognition of good workers. Marks in Annual Appraisal Reports and in Interview is totally dependent on whims and fancies of who writes AAPR or who are member of Interview Panel. There are many factors like caste , community ,relation, liasoning with higher bosses , recommendation of VIPs, religion, region, yesmanism, bribery etc which affect and pollute the mind of top bosses who are entrusted the duty of picking up good staff for promotion to higher scales. Marks are not given on the basis of real performance in many cases. It is either whimsical or stereo type making or based on flattery or caste or recommendations of some other VIPS. Marks are therefore not at all indicative of level of goodness in any staff.

In many cases , Bosses are not at all capable to assess the performance of their juniors. Many bosses do not understand how to give marks in AAPR. Top Officials who are supposed to write APAR or review APAR do not give much value to its importance. Some officers give 90 to 95 marks to all juniors and some give 70 to 80 and some other 60 to 90 and so on. Marks given in APAR has got little relevance to reality at ground level.

Promotion processes use to take place generally at all India and these marks become irrelevant and killer of justice because marks in Interview is given higher when one is to be selected and given minimum marks when one officer has to be rejected. Members of Interview panel enter into Interview room keeping some chits of recommendation in pocket or some telephonic recommendations in mind. This is why even charge sheet served or failed or suspended officers or inefficient , unskilled or non-performers are promoted whereas many good workers are rejected in promotion processes who in turn feel suffocated in working in banks. Old guys continue in service only due to the fact that opportunity of better job for simple graduates and that too at the age of 35 or 40 is rare and few. Old guys though continue in service , they do not have love and affection for their organisation. This is why the sense of pulling on is found at all levels.

Ministry of Finance has to ponder over it seriously , otherwise health of banks will move from bad to worse. They cannot control and stop rise in stressed assets. Bank officers under pressure recover Rs.100 from bad borrowers, but hide Rs.1000 which is bad but treated as good and add fresh Rs.1000 new bad accounts every year. Situation has gone beyond their control. They set a committee or many committees for reformation on different issues , get report , read them till they retire or throw the same. Indifferent officials in RBI or in MOF or in GOI or in CBI think it better to refer the matter of corruption of top officials related to bad lending or bribe led lending or bribe led recruitment or promotions to some committee or the other and put carpet on the issue for ever. Even court cases are managed in favour of corrupt team so that reign of injustice is perpetuated for ever.

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