The All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) has sought the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to delink the associate banks from the State Bank of India and make them standalone independent banks, in order to enable them to grow and progress to their optimum potential.
"Had the associate banks been given more functional autonomy and operational flexibility sans SBI's control, they would have grown further and further," said the association in a memorandum submitted to the minister. There are many nationalised banks that were smaller than the associate banks two or three decades ago. Today, however, they have overgrown the associate banks because of their independence and flexibility to do business, it added.
Around 50,0000 employees of associate banks are agitated over certain vital issues that are remaining unresolved despite there being Government of India directives, guidelines besides bilateral agreements, it added.
The association alleged that SBI has been preventing the associate banks from implementing various settlement terms reached through negotation between the employees associations and the managements. It also called for the government's intervention for implementation of the Government of India approved Compassionate Appointment Scheme in all associate banks and to ensure that housing loan limits of workmen employees of associate banks are upwardly revised.
While the unions and the banks association entered into 10th bipartite industry-level wage settlement in banks in India, in which 43 banks including all the 27 public sector banks are parties, only SBI was permited to review and settle the rates of special pay and duties at their bank level and it has not implemented it in the associate banks, they alleged.
In another memorandum, AIBEA urged the government to reconsider its decision to reduce its stake in IDBI Bank to below 50 per cent, rescind the proposal and retain the bank as a public sector bank which alone would uphold the credibility and sanctity of the solemn assurance given by Jaswant Singh, the then Finance Minister given to the Parliament.
It also requested the Government of India to fix accountability on all the officials of the bank during whose tenure these loans were sanctioned deliberately bypassing the established norms in the matter of sanction of loans and appropriate action initiated against them which alone would act as deterrent for others.